Speaking at a virtual news conference, Stitt said that aside from feeling “a little achy,” his symptoms were rather mild. He said his wife and children were tested for COVID-19 and the results were negative.
Stitt is the first U.S. governor to test positive for the potentially deadly disease the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus causes. His announcement comes as Oklahoma reported a second consecutive day of record-high numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 1,075 new cases, bringing the statewide total to over 22,000.
“We still need all Oklahomans to do their part to slow the spread of this virus. Please take personal responsibility to protect yourself, your family, & our most vulnerable from this virus,” Stitt, a Republican, said in a tweet on Tuesday.
“Continue to wash your hands, stay home when you’re sick, maintain physical distance, & wear a mask in public when maintaining physical distance isn’t possible,” he added.
Stitt has backed one of the country’s most aggressive reopening plans and has resisted a statewide mandate on masks.
“We respect people’s rights … to not wear a mask,” Stitt said during Wednesday’s conference, which was held virtually. “A lot of businesses are requiring it, and that’s fine. I’m just hesitant to mandate something that I think is problematic to enforce.”
Stitt attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa last month, but rejected the idea that he may have contracted COVID-19 there.
“I don’t think there was any way it was at the President’s rally. It’s too long ago,” Stitt said.
Dr. Lance Frye, the commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, was cited by CNN as saying that it is unclear exactly when Stitt contracted the illness, but that it would have been after the Tulsa rally.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy commented on Stitt’s contracting of COVID-19, saying, “He’s a good guy, he’s got a great family. So he is in our prayers.”
Some regions in the United States are seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, with some state governments moving to impose new restrictions.
So far, there are more than 13 million confirmed COVID-19 infections worldwide, with over 583,000 deaths and almost 8 million recoveries. According to Epoch Times’ investigations, China’s confirmed cases and deaths are more than 10 times higher than reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.