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Government & Politics

DeWine: Trump COVID-19 Test 'A Powerful Reminder' to Wear Masks, Distance

a photo of guests at the Cleveland debate.
Patrick Semansky
Guests for the first presidential debate take their seats, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday urged Ohioans to wear masks in the wake of news that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.

DeWine called the president’s positive test a reminder to pay attention to the virus, expressing frustration at what he called a “very alarming” number of new COVID-19 cases in the state.

“I think this is a powerful reminder to us that we have to do the basic things,” DeWine said in a Friday afternoon news conference. “We have to wear a mask, we have to social distance. We have to be careful. We have to avoid big crowds. It’s for all of us.”

State health officials reported 1,495 new COVID-19 cases Friday, the fourth consecutive day in which daily new cases exceeded 1,000.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who attended the presidential debate in Cleveland Sept. 29, was still awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test as of the 3 p.m. press conference. He sat near the back of the audience at Samson Pavilion, and said he saw most attendees wearing masks.

Photographs from the event show Trump children Eric and Ivanka Trump, as well as U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH 4th District), not wearing masks during the debate.

The Ohio Department of Health is not involved in tracing the president’s contacts, DeWine said.

Before a rally in Dayton last week, DeWine and his wife, Fran, visited Trump in his cabin on Air Force One, he said. Both DeWines wore masks, but Trump did not, the governor said. The DeWines have taken COVID-19 tests, he said.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
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