Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt confirmed Wednesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, the first U.S. governor to publicly announce his diagnosis.
He is isolating at home after receiving the results.
Oklahoma was one of the first states to reopen its economy. Medical professionals warned the Republican governor that reopening in April after a month in lockdown was too soon amid the pandemic. Stitt attended President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa on June 20, which attracted about 6,200 people, most of them not wearing masks.
Stitt, 48, who often declined wearing a mask in public, defended his attendance at the rally.
“The coronavirus is in the United States. It’s in Oklahoma. We have to take precautions. We have the freedom to stay at home. You have the freedom to come to this rally,” he said at the time."
On June 30, Stitt urged Oklahomans to wear a mask in public after a two-week spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.
Now, the number of cases in the state has risen significantly, with nearly 22,000 confirmed and 428 deaths.
David Ostrowe, secretary of digital transformation and administration in Stitt’s cabinet, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in March.
Oklahoma Governor Tests Positive for COVID-19