Governor who refused to wear a mask and attended Trump rally catches coronavirus


A US governor who attended an indoor campaign rally but resisted measures to wear masks in his condition tested positive for the coronavirus.Oklahoma’s Kevin Stitt said he was diagnosed with the deadly disease as new infections in his state and neighboring Texas surged in record numbers for the second day in a row.

But the 48-year-old Republican – who supported one of the country’s most aggressive reopening plans after the foreclosure – said he still respects “people’s rights … not to wear a mask.”

Speaking via video link from his home, where he is isolated, he made bizarre claims that forcing people to wear masks would be difficult because they can easily slip under your nose.

The governor, who regularly neglected to wear a mask himself, also received a backlash this week after tweeting a photo with his maskless children in a busy restaurant.

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Kevin Stitt becomes the first American governor to be positive

Texas, where the number of known infections has jumped from an all-time high of 10,791 statewide in the past 24 hours, also reported a record 110 additional deaths for Covid-19, its fourth daily benchmark this month.

But Oklahoma, which reported a daily record of 1,075 cases, became the focal point for the resurgence of the coronavirus epidemic after Stitt’s announcement.

A staunch supporter of Donald Trump, he participated in the President’s indoor campaign rally in Tulsa with thousands of others three weeks ago – where many wore no masks.

“I was tested yesterday for Covid-19, and the results came back positive,” Stitt said in a video conference with reporters.

He attended an indoor rally for Donald Trump in Tulsa three weeks ago

“I feel good, really, I mean you could say I’m asymptomatic or just a little sore. ”

The governor is one of many elected politicians infected since the arrival of the new coronavirus in the United States this year.

Others include US Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, and about half a dozen members of the US House of Representatives from both parties.

Stitt’s diagnosis comes amid a spike in Covid-19 cases in the southern and western United States after state and local officials began to ease economic and social restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

Across the country, new cases averaged around 60,000 per day.

He was criticized after posting a photo in a restaurant with his children

Twenty-eight states recorded record daily increases in cases this month, many of them more than once, and 11 states reported more deaths than ever before.

Nationally, the total number of cases was close to 3.5 million, by far the highest number of any country in the world, and more than 136,000 Americans died from highly contagious respiratory disease. day.

Since Trump’s June 20 rally in Tulsa, which was attended by several thousand people against the advice of public health officials, cases of coronavirus in the surrounding county have reached more than 5,200.

Stitt was speaking via video link from his home

That’s an increase of 219% over the past four weeks.

The number of infections in several other Oklahoma counties has also doubled, tripled or even quadrupled in the same period.

Eight Trump campaign workers tested positive at the time of the Tulsa event.

Stitt said he had worked with contact tracers when his symptoms developed and they thought it wouldn’t have been contagious until Saturday.

His wife Sarah and their children were also tested, but he was the only one to be positive

An influential mortality model developed by the Institute of Metrology and Health Assessment at the University of Washington (IHME) predicted Tuesday night that the number of deaths in the United States would exceed 224,000 people on November 1 , up 16,000 from previous forecasts.

But he also said that the number of lives lost could be reduced by 40,000 if almost all Americans wore masks in public.

Trump, whose popularity in opinion polls is declining before the election, has been reluctant to adopt the mask, and most Republican governors and local officials have followed suit.

Trump and Stitt participate in a roundtable with governors last month

With infections rising for the second day in a row in Alabama and a record number of deaths per day, Republican Governor Kay Ivey overturned his position on Wednesday and ordered all residents to wear masks, starting Thursday.

“I always prefer personal responsibility to a government mandate,” said Ivey during a press briefing.

“And yet I also know with all my heart that the figures and data for the past few weeks are certainly going in the wrong direction. ”

The neighboring state of Florida, the epicenter of the latest wave of cases, reported 10,000 new infections on Wednesday, bringing the total to more than 300,000.

The resurgence of infections in much of the country has forced tough choices about how and when to reopen closed schools for the next school year.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said on Wednesday that she is delaying the reopening of schools until the end of the September 7 vacation, to save time in deciding whether to continue teaching in the classroom, the home learning or a combination.

Amidst growing infections in California, the 2021 Tournament of Roses, a performance of floats, brass bands and equestrian teams held each New Year’s day in Pasadena, was canceled due to the pandemic, its first cancellation in 76 the organizers announced on Wednesday.


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