Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has confirmed that he tested positive for coronavirus. According to ABC affiliate KOCO News 5, Stitt said he believes he may be the first U.S. governor to test positive for COVID-19. He also explained that his symptoms have been mild at this time, as he has only felt some slight aches.
Stitt shared that his wife and children tested negative for the virus and that he is currently quarantined away from them. He also plans to continue working from home. Stitt went on to say that would not have been contagious since before Saturday, and that he is working with contact tracers to try and find the source of his infection. Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell has since stated that he will be getting tested for coronavirus, after learning of Stitt's positive test. "While we wait on the results, I am quarantining and working at home, with no symptoms at this time," Pinnell wrote in a tweet. "I wish Governor Stitt a speedy recovery and look forward to serving with him upon his return to the Capitol."
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has tested positive for coronavirus as cases in his state hit record levels just a month after he hosted Trump’s first campaign rally amid the #Covid19 pandemic https://t.co/r9oUB7rKZN— POLITICO (@politico) July 15, 2020
Even though he has tested positive for coronavirus, Stitt reportedly said that he will not issue a state-wide mandate on mask-wearing, as he believes that not all communities have the same needs. Notably, Stitt's diagnosis comes weeks after he attended a presidential rally for Donald Trump in Tulsa. Just over 6,000 other people attended the rally, and in the weeks since Tulsa has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases. Recently, Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart told the Associated Press that the rally had "more than likely contributed" to the coronavirus outbreak in the city. "In the past few days, we’ve seen almost 500 new cases, and we had several large events just over two weeks ago, so I guess we just connect the dots," Dart said.
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh disagrees, however: "There were literally no health precautions to speak of as thousands looted, rioted, and protested in the streets and the media reported that it did not lead to a rise in coronavirus cases," he said in a statement. "Meanwhile, the President's rally was 18 days ago, all attendees had their temperature checked, everyone was provided a mask, and there was plenty of hand sanitizer available for all." Murtaugh then laid the blame elsewhere stating how "it's obvious that the media's concern about large gatherings begins and ends with Trump rallies."