Jefferson City, MO - Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has tested positive for the coronavirus, along with his wife Teresa. His office confirmed the COVID-19 positive test Wednesday.
Parson has repeatedly urged residents to wear masks and maintain social distancing, but he has been an outspoken opponent of mask mandates, often appearing at functions without one.
Parson was tested after his wife tested positive earlier Wednesday.
Teresa Parson had experienced mild symptoms, including a cough and nasal congestion. Gov. Parson postponed several events through the remainder of the week.
"All official and campaign events have been canceled until further notice," a statement from the governor's office read. "As a precautionary measure, the Governor's staff has been tested and is awaiting results. At this time, the Governor feels healthy and is displaying no symptoms, and the First Lady has mild symptoms. Proper safety protocols have been implemented at the direction of Dr. Randall Williams, Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services."
Parson is 65. He has repeatedly urged residents to wear masks and maintain social distancing, but he has been an outspoken opponent of mask mandates, often appearing at functions without one.
Parson is facing Democratic State Auditor Nicole Galloway in the November election. The two were supposed to debate Friday in a forum hosted by the Missouri Press Association, but it has been postponed, said Mark Maassen, executive director of the association. He said the forum will be rescheduled.
His opponant wished the governor and the First Lady both a speedy recovery.
In July, speaking without a mask at a Missouri Cattlemen's Association steak fry in Sedalia, he reiterated his stance on mandating masking.
“You don’t need government to tell you to wear a dang mask,” he said. “If you want to wear a dang mask, wear a mask.”
Parson's opposition to masks has held strong even as the White House Coronavirus Task Force has recommended a face covering requirement in Missouri given the state's escalating number of confirmed cases.