Missouri governor, foe of mandatory masks, has COVID
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican who has steadfastly refused to require residents to wear masks, tested positive for coronavirus, his office said Wednesday.
Parson was tested after his wife, Teresa, tested positive earlier in the day. Teresa Parson had experienced mild symptoms, including a cough and nasal congestion, spokeswoman Kelli Jones said. She took a rapid test that came back positive, and a nasal swab test later confirmed the finding. The governor’s rapid test showed a positive result, and he is still awaiting results from the swab test.
“I want everybody to know that myself and the first lady are both fine,” Parson said in a video posted on his Facebook page.
“Right now, I feel fine. No symptoms of any kind,” Parson said in the video. “But right now, we just have to take the quarantine procedures in place.”
Gov. Parson postponed several events through the rest of the week. He and his wife had been traveling around the state this week for events that included a ceremonial bill signing in Cape Girardeau, where a photo posted Tuesday on the governor’s Facebook page showed both of them wearing masks.
On Friday, he and several other Missouri Republican candidates appeared together at an event called the “TARGET BBQ” in Springfield. A photo posted on Parson’s Twitter pages shows Parson on a stage with four other statewide officeholders seeking reelection: Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Attorney General Eric Schmitt. They appear to be a few feet apart from one another, but none is wearing a mask.
Gov. Mike Parson