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Watch: Emotional ND governor calls for end to 'senseless' divide over masks

His plea to his constituents has gone viral.

A raw, emotional moment during a press conference has people across the country talking about North Dakota's governor. 

On Friday, during an official briefing, Gov. Doug Burgum (R) took a moment to ask his constituents to "dial up your empathy and your understanding" and avoid the "senseless" divide over the practice of wearing masks:

Noting that the mask debate has flared up along political and ideological lines across the country, Burgum says he wants to see his state "skip" the "mask shaming" and hostility that other places have seen — such as verbal and physical attacks on retail workers.

“If someone is wearing a mask, they’re not doing it to represent what political party they’re in or what candidates they support,” Burgum said.

"They might be doing because they’ve got a 5-year-old child who’s been going through cancer treatments," he added, his voice cracking with emotion. 

He went on to implore his state to be not only "North Dakota smart," but also "North Dakota kind (and) North Dakota empathetic."

The unguarded moment has received much attention (and some praise) across social media, with Burgum getting coverage in the Washington Post, CNN and other national media outlets. 

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