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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive for coronavirus ahead of Trump visit

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

John Minchillo | AP

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tested positive for the coronavirus Thursday before he was scheduled to greet President Donald Trump upon his arrival in Cleveland, a statement from DeWine’s office said.

DeWine, a Republican, has no symptoms of the virus, but plans to quarantine at his home for the next two weeks, according to the statement.

The announcement came shortly after Trump left the White House to travel to Ohio, where he is set to speak about the economy and tour a Whirlpool manufacturing plant. Trump on the trip is also scheduled to participate in a roundtable event with his supporters and attend a fundraising committee reception in the evening.

“I want to just say that a very good friend of mine just tested positive, do you know that?” Trump told a crowd of supporters outside Air Force One after he landed in the Buckeye State.

“Our great governor, governor of Ohio, DeWine, just tested positive, just here. And we want to wish him the best. He’ll be fine,” Trump said. “But he’s a great guy, he’s done a fantastic job.”

DeWine, 73, is the second governor to have tested positive for Covid-19. Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma was diagnosed with the virus in mid July.

DeWine had postponed his Thursday briefing on the virus in order to attend Trump’s arrival, according to Cleveland.com. That briefing was reportedly postponed until Friday at 2 p.m.

Trump landed before 2 p.m. ET at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, where DeWine had planned to greet him on the tarmac. DeWine was tested as part of the “standard protocol” for meeting with the president, according to the statement from the governor’s office.

His test, which apparently delivered results within hours, came back positive, DeWine’s office said. He will return to Columbus, the state’s capital, where he and his wife, first lady Fran DeWine, will be both tested, the statement said.

“The President wishes Governor DeWine a speedy and full recovery and commends the job he’s doing for the great state of Ohio,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement to CNBC.

Ohio has been hit hard by the coronavirus. There have been 96,305 total confirmed and probable cases of Covid-19 in the state since the pandemic began, along with a total of 3,596 deaths, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The coronavirus has infected more than 4.8 million people in the United States, killing more than 158,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Amid last month’s rise in Covid-19 cases, DeWine has recently imposed additional measures to try to slow the spread of the disease.

Ohio last week announced a statewide mask mandate applying to all people in indoor public spaces, as well as in outdoor situations where a social distance cannot be maintained. DeWine has also proposed a plan to stop all alcohol sales at restaurants and bars after 10 p.m. nightly.

— CNBC’s Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.

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