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Washington State GOP Chairman reacts to President Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis

Caleb Heimlich is the Washington State Republican Party Chairman and said he hopes the president's diagnosis will serve as a "wakeup call."

SEATTLE — As President Donald Trump battles COVID-19, the question has been raised if his diagnosis will change the minds of some of his supporters who believe the coronavirus pandemic has been overblown. 

Caleb Heimlich is the Washington State Republican Party Chairman and said he hopes the president's diagnosis will serve as a "wakeup call." 

"I think, yeah, I think for people that are looking at this I think hopefully this is a wakeup call to say 'look we do need to take steps to protect ourselves. To protect our families,'" said Heimlich.

Trump has repeatedly downplayed the usage of face masks since the start of the pandemic and has been hosting packed rallies on the campaign trail with little social distancing or mask use. 

On Twitter Sunday, KING 5 reporter Sebastian Robertson posed the question to users, "Do you think President Trump's coronavirus diagnosis has changed the public's perception of the virus?" 

One user responded, "Sadly no, there will still be a number of ppl [people] who will continue to believe the virus is not that bad and not take appropriate precautions.

Another user said, "Hopefully it will make them aware of just how 'deadly' it really is and they will open their eyes. Finally."

Heimlich said there needs to be a balance between protecting people from the virus and restarting the economy. He pointed to 1,300 businesses that he said have closed for good due to a the coronavirus shutdowns.

"We need to protect lives and we need to protect lively hood and so we have to find a way to open our business open our economy but at the same time protect people," said Heimlich.