Oklahoma’s Governor Becomes Nation’s First to Contract Covid-19
(Bloomberg) -- After weeks of resisting a statewide mask mandate, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has become the nation’s first governor to test positive for the coronavirus.
The announcement came in a news briefing Wednesday morning, almost a month after Stitt appeared maskless at a rally for President Donald Trump in Tulsa.
Stitt, 47, told reporters he doesn’t think he contracted the virus at the event. Nonetheless, his positive result is one of many in recent days in Oklahoma. The state had a record-breaking day Tuesday, with 993 new confirmed cases for a total of 21,738, according to the state health department.
“I personally get tested periodically,” Stitt said. “I felt a little bit achy yesterday, didn’t have a fever, but just a little bit achy, so just did my regular testing, and it came back positive.”
Stitt this month said he has no plans for a statewide mask mandate: “And we’re not going to be mask-shamers, either.”
The governor’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday on whether he would reconsider such a mandate.
Despite rising case numbers and Stitt’s firsthand experience, the governor said during Wednesday’s briefing that he’s not considering backtracking on Oklahoma’s reopening. The state’s hospital capacity is “in really good shape right now,” Stitt said.
Trump, who this past weekend appeared masked in public for the first time, “wishes him a safe and quick recovery,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said of Stitt.
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