MO state Rep. Joe Runions of Grandview recovering from COVID-19, makes urgent plea to governor

MO state rep Joe Runions of Grandview on a ventilator due to COVID-19

Kansas City, MO - Missouri state Rep. Joe Runions (D) of Grandview is recovering from his bout with COVID-19, and has shared a photo of himself from his hospital bed.

“Although I remain hospitalized, I am getting better, but it will be a long recovery," said Runions, 79, in a released statement. "The most important thing to me right now is for the doctors, nurses and hospitals in our state to get all of the support and supplies they need as they work to treat this illness."

The photo was taken on Thursday, March 19 on his worst night, according to Marc Powers, Chief of Staff for the Missouri House Minority Leader’s Office

Runions sent a letter to MO Governor Mike Parson detailing his experience, and highlighting the urgent need for more supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical staff.  Runions also spoke by phone with Parson on Sunday.

From Runions' statement:  “My doctors are deeply concerned that they could run out of vital supplies, especially the equipment they need to keep themselves safe while caring for patients. They also say expanded testing is needed to more quickly identify and treat those who have contracted COVID-19.

I spoke with Governor Parson earlier today and shared my experiences and observations as a COVID-19 patient. I also urged him to do all in his power to send the necessary supplies directly to our hospitals as quickly as possible. I believe the governor understands the challenges our hospitals are facing and will take the necessary actions.”

He closed the statement with an urgent plea to Gov. Parson: Please, do whatever is necessary to expedite the availability of testing kits. I have no doubt expanded testing will save lives.

Runions is no longer on the ventilator and is now breathing normally, but remains at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kansas City.