Mike DeWine Tests Negative for Coronavirus, Suggesting False Positive Before Trump Visit

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine shrugs his shoulders in response to a reporter's question about him testing positive for COVID-19 Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Bexley, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) tested negative for the novel coronavirus after initially testing positive prior to his plans to greet President Trump at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, he announced Thursday evening.

The governor provided an update after initially testing positive for the Wuhan coronavirus Thursday morning via a rapid test, revealing that a second test — a PCR test — proved to be negative.

“In a second COVID-19 test administered today in Columbus, Governor Mike DeWine has tested negative for COVID-19,” a statement from his official Twitter account read. “First Lady Fran DeWine and staff members have also all tested negative”:

The statement read in part:

A PCR test was administered to the Governor and members of his staff this afternoon. The PCR test looks for the specific RNA for the SARS CoV-2 — in other words, the genetic material specific for the virus that causes COVID-19. The PCR test is known to be extremely sensitive, as well as specific, for the virus. The PCR tests for the Governor, First Lady, and staff were run twice. They came back negative the first time and came back negative when they were run on a second diagnostic platform. We feel confident in the results from Wexner Medical Center. 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 administered this morning to the Governor in Cleveland, as part of the protocol required to meet the President, was an antigen test. These tests represent a new technology to reduce the cost and improve the turnaround time for COVID-19 testing, but they are quite new. We do not have much experience with antigen tests here in Ohio. We will be working with the manufacturer to have a better understanding of how the discrepancy between these two tests could have occurred.

DeWine and his wife, Fran DeWine, plan to undergo another PCR test on Saturday “out of an abundance of caution.” Those results will also be released to the public:

After initially testing positive for the virus via an antigen test, DeWine reported no symptoms.

“I feel fine. I have a headache, but I get a lot of headaches throughout my life, so a headache is not unusual,” the governor said, according to Fox 8.

DeWine told reporters he is staying at his private home rather than the governor’s mansion, as he has since the start of the pandemic. He is also working with a skeleton staff, all of whom wear masks.

“When you wear a mask, you’re improving your odds dramatically. But that does not mean you won’t get it,” DeWine said, emphasizing that the virus “lives among us.”


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