As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to spike throughout much of the United States, the nation’s first governor has confirmed he tested positive for the coronavirus.
Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt made the announcement on Wednesday, asserting that he was “pretty shocked” to learn the results of his test, as Fox News reported.
“I feel fine”
The news comes as his state battles a surge in new cases, including about 1,000 positive results on Monday alone and a total of roughly 22,000 altogether. According to state data, at least 432 Oklahomans have died as a result of the virus.
Stitt’s revelation on Wednesday was first reported by Tulsa World, which included his confirmation that he remained asymptomatic and would be self-isolating while completing his duties from home.
“I feel fine,” he told the outlet. “I was pretty shocked that I was the first governor to get it.”
His wife and six children reportedly tested negative for the virus.
Despite his personal connection to the public health crisis, Stitt remains unconvinced that stricter statewide measures are needed to combat the virus’s spread. He remains opposed to a face mask mandate, calling it “problematic to enforce” and asserting that it was “premature” to discuss another round of economic shutdowns due to the recent rise in infections.
The source remains unknown
Stitt’s positive test result on Tuesday came just hours after he attended an in-person meeting with three of the state’s Land Office commissioners, a Republican state legislator, and other top state officials. Several of those in attendance were reportedly not wearing face masks.
Most of those present have since confirmed they would isolate themselves until receiving a test result.
As for whether anyone else in Stitt’s office has contracted the virus, spokesman Charlie Hannema said that the office generally does not “comment on the personal health information of anyone without their permission.”
Stitt earned some criticism for his decision not to wear a mask during President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa last month, but both he and Health Commissioner Lance Frye said the event was too long ago to have been the cause of his infection.
While most of the state’s residents are wishing him and others impacted by the coronavirus a speedy recovery, there are sure to be more than a few who continue to bash the governor over the tough decisions he continues to make in response to this pandemic.