Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, who was expected to greet President Donald Trump at the start of a trip to his state, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the governor’s office revealed.
DeWine took a test as part of a ‘standard protocol’ for those who come in contact with the president, according to DeWine’s office. He tested positive but has ‘no symptoms at the present time.
DeWine, a former U.S. senator, gained some national promise early in the pandemic for taking steps to impose lockdowns on events in his state in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus at a time when such steps were being debated.
He was to have greeted the president at the airport in Cleveland at the start of a trip that will have the president tout his record and visit a factory.
Instead, DeWine will return to Columbus along with Ohio first lady First Lady Fran DeWine.
The president acknowledged the situation in brief remarks at the airport. ‘I want to just say that a very good friend of mine just tested positive, do you know that?’ the president said.
‘Our great governor, governor of Ohio DeWine just tested positive,’ Trump continued.
‘We want to wish him the best. He’ll be fine,’ Trump predicted, in remarks where he also attacked rival Joe Biden, who is leading him in an average of polls this summer.
Trump said DeWine was ‘going for a secondary test.’
The governor plans to self-quarantine at his home for 14 days. The Lieutenant governor, Jon Husted, also took a test for COVID-19 and tested negative.
The news broke shortly after Trump took off from Joint Base Andrews, amid a scrutiny of the president’s repeated claims about testing, which have blamed the high number of U.S. cases on the millions of tests that have been carried out.
‘We’ve done a great job and we haven’t been rewarded with the publicity,’ Trump told radio host Geraldo Rivera Thursday.
News of DeWine’s condition broke just minutes before the president tweeted out a video of his departure, with the upbeat missive: ‘Just Departed for the Great State of Ohio!’
The nature of DeWine’s results point to the difficulty of containing the disease, which many people carry without even knowing they have it. That is one reason skeptics are resisting Trump’s push to reopen schools, with concerns that children could spread the disease and bring it home as carriers.
Trump faced blowback after claiming inaccurately that children are ‘almost immune’ from the coronavirus.
Trump returned to Ohio, a critical electoral battleground, Thursday for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak as polls show Joe Biden leading him there.
While there he’ll tout his economic record – one of the areas where voters give him high remarks – and tour a Whirlpool Corporation plant, where he’ll sign an executive order requiring the federal government to purchase certain prescription drugs from U.S. manufacturers rather than from overseas companies.
A Your Voice Ohio Election Project poll out earlier this week showed Biden leading Trump by four points in the state. Biden leads the president by 2 points in the RealClearPolitics polling average of Ohio.
Trump won Ohio by 8 points in the 2016 election. The state has picked the winner in every presidential election since 1964.
The president’s trip is his latest day trip to a state crucial to his re-election bid after traditional campaigning was sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic, including Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Trump will be greeted upon his arrival by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, who’s received high marks for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak in his state. Polls show a majority of voters disapprove of Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
DeWine has issued a statewide order for people to wear face masks as coronavirus cases have been on the rise across the midwest.
He was quick to act when the pandemic started and was the first governor to order schools closed. He also postponed the state’s March 17 primary and held daily briefings on the pandemic – actions which sent his popularity soaring among Ohio voters.
President Trump called into Geraldo Rivera’s radio show Thursday morning. The show airs out of Ohio.
Trump said he didn’t think the election was a referendum on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘I think its a referendum on everything,’ he said.
He also rejected any idea Biden was leading in the polls.
‘I don’t think so,’ he said.
The president will end his visit with a fundraiser at the Shoreby Yacht Club in Bratenahl, Ohio, near Cleveland.
It costs will $35,000 to attend while a photo and roundtable discussion is $100,000, a local TV station reported.
RNC Chairman Ronna McDaniel and Trump Victory Finance Committee National Chair Kimberly Guilfoyle are among those scheduled to attend.
After the fundraiser, President Trump will head to New Jersey to spend the weekend at his Bedminister golf club.