Ohio Governor Mike DeWine tests positive for coronavirus ahead of Trump visit

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Ohio Governor Mike DeWineJohn Minchillo | AP

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine tested positive for the coronavirus Thursday before there were plans to greet President Donald Trump upon his arrival in Cleveland, according to a statement from DeWine’s office.DeWine, a Republican, has no symptoms of the virus, but plans to quarantine it at his home for the next two weeks, the statement said.

The announcement came shortly after Trump left the White House for Ohio, where he is set to talk about the economy and visit a Whirlpool manufacturing plant. Trump on the trip is also expected to participate in a roundtable discussion with his supporters and attend a fundraising committee reception that evening.

“I just want to say that a very good friend of mine just tested positive, do you know that? Trump told a crowd of supporters outside of Air Force One after it landed in Buckeye State.

“Our great Governor, Governor of Ohio, DeWine, just tested positive, right here. And we want to wish him the best. He will be fine, ”Trump said. “But he’s a great guy, he did a fantastic job. ”

DeWine, 73, is the second governor to test positive for Covid-19. Republican Governor Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma was diagnosed with the virus in mid-July.

DeWine had postponed his Thursday briefing on the virus in order to witness Trump’s arrival, according to Cleveland.com. This briefing would have been postponed to Friday at 2 p.m.

Trump landed before 2 p.m. ET at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, where DeWine had planned to greet him on the tarmac. DeWine was tested under “standard protocol” to meet with the president, according to the statement from the governor’s office.

Her test, which apparently gave results within hours, came back positive, DeWine’s office said. He will return to Columbus, the state capital, where he and his wife, First Lady Fran DeWine, will both be tested, the statement said.

“The President wishes Governor DeWine a speedy and full recovery and salutes the work he is doing for the great state of Ohio,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement to CNBC.

Ohio has been hit hard by the coronavirus. There have been 96,305 total confirmed and probable cases of Covid-19 in the state since the start of the pandemic, along with a total of 3,596 deaths, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The coronavirus has infected more than 4.8 million people in the United States, killing more than 158,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Amid last month’s surge in Covid-19 cases, DeWine recently imposed additional measures to try to slow the spread of the disease in his condition.

Last week, Ohio announced a statewide mask mandate that applies to all people in indoor public spaces, as well as in outdoor situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. DeWine also came up with a plan to stop all alcohol sales in restaurants and bars after 10 p.m. every night.

– CNBC Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.

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