Home Coronavirus Pandemic Gov. DeWine tests positive, then negative, for COVID-19

Gov. DeWine tests positive, then negative, for COVID-19

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced he tested positive for COVID-19 after taking a mandatory rapid test Thursday morning before a scheduled meeting with President Donald Trump, who was visiting Ohio.

DeWine took a second coronavirus test from Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center after returning to Columbus, according to Cincinnati.com. The second test, which was more sensitive to detecting the genetic presence of the coronavirus, came back negative.

The 73-year-old Republican did not show any symptoms. According to the Columbus Dispatch, DeWine has a history of asthma problems. 

Trump said he had just found out about DeWine’s positive test and wished him well, according to the Dispatch. 

“A very good friend of mine just tested positive. Do you know that? Our great governor. Governor of Ohio DeWine just tested positive,” Trump told reporters upon his Cleveland arrival. “We want to wish him the best. He’ll be fine.” 

Dan Tierney, DeWine’s press secretary, said it is not known when and where DeWine contracted the virus. Tierney added it was not yet determined what members of DeWine’s inner circle would be tested. 

DeWine plans to quarantine for the next two weeks at his Cedarville home, according to the Dispatch. 

First Lady Fran DeWine did not travel with her husband to Cleveland. Lieutenant Gov. Jon Husted, who greeted President Trump along with new House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima), both tested negative. 

Several Ohio figures also wished DeWine well, including U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Terrace Park) and Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper (D-Cincinnati). 

“Jane and I were saddened to hear that Gov. DeWine tested positive for COVID-19. We are hopeful that he will continue to have no symptoms and send our best wishes for a speedy recovery,” Portman’s statement said. “I spoke with him yesterday about the ongoing COVID-19 response at the federal and state level, and I’m certain he’ll continue to lead a strong and safe reopening of Ohio while following the proper protocols and quarantining at home in Cedarville.” 

Pepper wrote in a statement: “We are saddened to hear of Gov. Mike DeWine’s test result. We know how hard he’s been working to keep Ohioans safe, and this is just one more reminder that this virus can impact everyone. As fellow Ohioans, we stand with and support our governor and his family at this time.” 

DeWine and former Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton gained national attention for taking aggressive action to combat the spread of COVID-19 when it was first detected in Ohio. 

Ohio Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana), a known critic of DeWine’s coronavirus pandemic response, refused to yield his criticism of the governor. 

“While I certainly wish no ill will on the governor, I think the question must be asked,” he wrote on Facebook Thursday. “Has the governor not been wearing his mask, or do masks not stop the spread?” 

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