Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt Tests Positive For COVID-19 After Attending Trump’s Tulsa Rally
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has tested positive for coronavirus amid new cases outbreak in his state weeks after the June 20 MAGA rally in Tulsa.
During a video press conference on Wednesday, Stitt said he had tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday afternoon.
“I feel fine, I felt a little bit achy yesterday. I didn’t have a fever but just a little bit achy, so I just did my regular testing and it came back positive,” Stitt said, adding that he wanted to encourage Oklahoma residents to test if they had health concerns.
“I didn’t have the traditional symptoms of COVID, and that’s kind of interesting for us to think about,” Stitt said, referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus. “That’s why I just want to encourage Oklahomans to continue to get tested.”
Oklahoma Health Commissioner Lance Frye said it’s “really unknown” where Stitt contracted COVID-19 and said it was unlikely Stitt contracted it at the rally, saying it was likely too long for the virus to have been dormant. Stitt attended President Donald Trump’s rally held in the indoor arena in Tulsa on June 20.
However, on Tuesday two weeks after the rally, the state still saw a surge of 1,000 daily cases. Tulsa Health Department Executive Director Bruce Dart there said the rally “more than likely” became the factor of the coronavirus cases.
“The past two days we’ve had almost 500 cases, and we know we had several large events a little over two weeks ago, which is about right,” Dart said on July 9. “So I guess we just connect the dots.”
Dart previously told Tulsa World he was “concerned” about the city’s ability to protect the attendees while hosting the rally amid the pandemic and called in for postponing the event.
Stitt was criticized for still hosting the rally as health officials warned about the possible danger. At the time, he said that high-risk individuals might not want to attend the rally but added “we also have to learn how to deal with COVID” and “we can’t let it dictate our lives.”
In a June 16, interview with Fox News, days before the rally, Stitt downplayed health concerns over the Tulsa rally and said the state had been “safely reopening.”
“We were one of the first states to start reopening. So, we’re 57 days into our reopening campaign, and we feel like it’s the right time to start reopening. So we’re excited about the president coming,” Stitt said.
On Tuesday, Oklahoma reported a daily record of 993 new coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic. The Oklahoma State Department of Health on Friday reported 699 new coronavirus state-wide cases, with an overall number of 24,140 coronavirus cases and 445 deaths across the state.