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Elected officials respond to POTUS, FLOTUS positive COVID-19 results

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Elected officials across West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky are offering well wishes to President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump after the president confirmed they had tested positive for COVID-19.

The president tweeted the news of their test results early this morning. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Second Lady Karen Pence have since tested negative for the virus.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) said she is hoping for a full recovery for the Trumps. Capito tested negative for the virus in September after her office said she learned she had been in contact with someone who tested positive. Despite her negative result, the senator still opted to quarantine for 14 days as a precaution.

The news of the president and first lady’s positive cases followed Thursday’s news that Hope Hicks, one of President Donald Trump’s closest aides, tested positive for COVID-19.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he and his wife also wished the president and first lady a fast recovery from the virus while urging people to be safe and to continue following safety protocols to prevent spreading COVID-19.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice took a moment from his semi-daily press briefing on COVID-19 to offer a public prayer for the president and his wife. The two men have been close friends long before they ran for public office.

“I really feel that we as a nation, and especially West Virginians, need to offer up a prayer for our president and the first lady,” Justice said.

“If the President of the United States of America can end up with COVID, and if the leader in Great Britain ends up with COVID, it can affect any of us, can it not?”

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice

When stating how the virus can affect anyone after the president’s diagnosis, Justice also referred to the first major world leader who was confirmed to have the virus, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive for the virus in March. During his illness, the prime minister was in the hospital for unrelated reasons but moved to an intensive care unit for three days after his COVID-19 symptoms worsened. Heir to the British throne Prince Charles also tested positive in March and showed mild symptoms.

U.S. Representatives Alex Mooney (R-WV) and Carol Miller (R-WV) also tweeted out support for the president, with Mooney saying members of Congress were offering prayers at the Congressional Chapel.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine also extended his prayers for the president and first lady. In August, DeWine received a positive test result while being tested as a protocol to meet with President Trump. DeWine and his wife were tested again once they returned to the governor’s mansion and received negative results on the second test the same day as his initial positive result. Health officials ran the second test twice to be sure the negative results were correct.

“Fran and I join our fellow Ohioans in praying for President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump after they announced early today that they have both tested positive for COVID-19.

Along with millions of others, we extend our prayers and best wishes to the President and First Lady during this time for a speedy recovery and for their good health.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

Following Tuesday night’s presidential debate, Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, were tested for the virus as the two candidates shared the stage for the event. The Bidens received negative test results this afternoon. The president’s challenger also wished the president and first lady a fast recovery. Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris and her husband also tested negative.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said he also hopes the Trumps will recover quickly, however, the senator admonished the president and his staff for reportedly not wearing masks during Tuesday’s debate in Cleveland.

“I wish the President, First Lady and White House staffers a speedy recovery.

I am extremely troubled by the reports that the President’s family and staff refused to wear masks at the debate in Cleveland, and then held a fundraiser the next day – endangering all who worked at and attended the events.”

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

The Cleveland Clinic has said they believe there is a low risk of exposure for those at the debate. The Clinic says those traveling with both candidates, as well as the candidates, were tested for COVID-19 by their respective campaigns and received negative results at the time.

“Based on what we know about the virus and the safety measures we had in place, we believe there is low risk of exposure to our guests. Out of an abundance of caution, we are reaching out to our guests to address any questions and concerns, as well as offering testing. We will continue to monitor the information being released by the White House,” Cleveland Clinic officials said.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear also wished the Trumps well while urging people to follow guidelines as he said anyone can be impacted by COVID-19.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) also tweeted Friday he and his wife are keeping the couple in their prayers and encouraged them to “stay strong.”

The Trumps have received an outpouring of well-wishes from across the world. First Lady Melania Trump responded with a tweet to thank those who have reached out to the couple for their support.

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