Oklahoma governor tests positive for coronavirus
OKLAHOMA (US) – Oklahoma’s governor, Kevin Stitt said he tested positive with COVID-19 on Wednesday. He is one of the highest elected US politicians to be diagnosed with the disease. Coronavirus infections in his state and neighbouring Texas spiked by record numbers for a second straight day.
The tally of known infections in Texas saw an all-time high of 10,791 cases statewide during a single day, while at the same time reporting a record 110 additional COVID-19 deaths.
However, Oklahoma, which reported a daily number of 1,075 cases, was noted for the outbreak of coronavirus after its governor announced that he had tested positive.
Stitt, a Republican who attended President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa around three weeks ago, was slammed after he posted a photo on Twitter in which he and his two children were seen at a crowded restaurant, even as state health authorities were giving recurrent orders on maintaining social distance.
Stitt, 47, said in a video conference call with reporters, “I got tested yesterday for COVID-19, and the results came back positive. I feel fine, really, I mean you might say I’m asymptomatic or just slightly kind of a little bit achy.”
Stitt is just one among the number of elected leaders infected in the list that includes US Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, and about a half-dozen members of the US House of Representatives from both parties.
Trump’s campaign rally on June 20 was attended by several thousand people which went against the guidelines of public health officials, according to a Reuters analysis.
Several other Oklahoma counties saw cases getting doubled, tripled or even quadrupled over the same period. Eight staff, who took part in Trump’s campaign tested positive.
University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) said late on Tuesday that the US death toll from COVID-19 would go beyond 224,000 by November 1, up 16,000 from a prior forecast.
It also said if nearly all Americans took to wearing masks in public, at least 40,000 lives could be saved.
Trump himself has been hesitating to wear masks, and most Republican governors and local officials have started following his path.
With infections surging for a consecutive day in Alabama, Republican Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday ordered all residents to wear masks, changing her standpoint, starting Thursday.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.