WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on Thursday he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, prompting him to bow out of a meeting in Cleveland with U.S. President Donald Trump, but the governor said hours later that a second test came back negative.
DeWine, 73, a Republican, said he underwent a diagnostic screening for the coronavirus as part of a safety protocol ahead of an appearance he was scheduled to make with Trump before the president’s visit to a Whirlpool Corp <WHR.N> washing-machine factory.
A statement issued on DeWine’s Twitter feed said the governor had no symptoms but would return to the Ohio capital of Columbus to quarantine at home for the next 14 days. Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted also took the coronavirus test and tested negative, DeWine’s statement said.
On Thursday evening, DeWine said on Twitter that a follow-up test appeared to have given him a clean bill of health.
“I tested negative in second test that I took today for COVID-19,” he wrote. “First Lady Fran DeWine and staff members have also all tested negative for COVID-19. Thanks to all for the well wishes.”
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said following the announcement of the positive test result that alternate arrangements were being made for greeting Trump and there would be no major changes to the president’s itinerary in Ohio.
“The President wishes Governor DeWine a speedy and full recovery and commends the job he’s doing for the great state of Ohio,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere.
During a speech at the Whirlpool plant in Clyde, Ohio, to tout his “America First” trade agenda, Trump said he signed a proclamation reimposing 10% tariffs on some Canadian aluminum products to protect U.S. industry from a “surge” in imports.
(Reporting by David Lawder and Steve Gorman; Editing by Chris Reese and Tom Brown)