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

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