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CLEVELAND (WJW) — In an interview with FOX 8 News, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was asked if he thought 2022 would be any different from the past two years of the COVID-19 crisis.

“I’m very hopeful,” DeWine told FOX 8’s Joe Toohey. “You know, if you look at what omicron has done in other countries, it really spreads very, very quickly. And we’re seeing that, particularly in Northeast Ohio, where our hospitals are just, you know, overwhelmed out, but what we’ve seen in other countries is while it goes up very quickly, it also comes down fairly quickly. So I’m optimistic.”

While he made clear he doesn’t know the future, DeWine said January is going to be tough but that he is hopeful for the spring.

Amid the spike in COVID hospitalizations across the state, with nearly 600 new ones reported by the Ohio Department of Health Wednesday, DeWine is running for reelection this year.

Yet many candidates running for U.S. Senate, including those in DeWine’s own party, have been critical of DeWine’s handling of the pandemic so far.

“Yeah, well, none of them are running for governor,” DeWine said. “First of all, they’re running for Senate and we’ll see who who emerges from that. But, you know, I’ve had a focus and the focus from the beginning of this pandemic, has been how we save lives, how we protect people, because we know that the future of this state depends on us not getting bogged down in this in this COVID. And I think we’ve kept that balance. I think we’ve done the Ohio way.”

View the whole interview in the video at the top of the story.