- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 6, 2020

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday ahead of President Trump’s trip to the state before testing negative later in the day.

Mr. DeWine took a test as part of a standard protocol to greet Mr. Trump at an airport in Cleveland.

Later in the day, Mr. DeWine, Ohio first ;ady Fran DeWine and staff members all tested negative. The PCR tests, which look for genetic material specific to the coronavirus, were run two times and came up negative both times.

“We feel confident in the results from Wexner Medical Center,” the governor’s office said. “This is the same PCR test that has been used over 1.6 million times in Ohio by hospitals and labs all over the state.”

The test that was administered earlier in the day in Cleveland was an antigen test, which can detect a virus’s proteins in someone’s nose. Mr. DeWine’s office said the state does not have as much experience with them.

“We will be working with the manufacturer to have a better understanding of how the discrepancy between these two tests could have occurred,” his office said.

Mr. DeWine and the first lady plan to have another PCR test this weekend.

“The President wishes Governor DeWine a speedy and full recovery and commends the job he’s doing for the great state of Ohio,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said on Twitter.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted tested negative as part of the presidential greeting protocol.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, was the first governor to announce a positive coronavirus test, which he disclosed last month.

Mr. Stitt had said he didn’t think his positive test was a result of his attending Mr. Trump’s June 20 rally in Tulsa.

After resisting calls for a statewide mask order, Mr. DeWine last month announced a mask mandate for people 10 years or older, with some exceptions, when they venture out in public and can’t maintain social distancing.

The order took effect on July 23.

Since then, the seven-day average of daily new coronavirus cases in the state has trended downward after increasing in June and July.

Mr. DeWine also teamed up with the governors of Maryland, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia this week in a compact to try to speed up production and delivery of rapid antigen tests.

Though his approval ratings have slipped a bit in some recent polling, Mr. DeWine has gotten generally positive marks on how he has handled the pandemic in Ohio.

But Mr. DeWine has also earned intense ire from activists on the right who had protested his earlier lockdown orders.

On Facebook, GOP State Rep. Nino Vitale posted a picture of Mr. DeWine wearing a mask that does not cover his nose alongside a caption: “DeWine Tests POSITIVE! I Thought Masks Worked?”

“While I certainly wish no ill will nor poor health on the governor, I think the question must be asked,” Mr. Vitale said. “Has he not been wearing his mask, or do masks not stop the spread?”

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