Gov. DeWine explains his contradicting COVID-19 test results


Gov. DeWine tested negative twice for COVID-19 after an antigen test gave a positive result prior to President Donald Trump's visit to Ohio

CEDARVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — During Friday’s news conference, Governor Mike DeWine discussed his two COVID-19 test results Thursday, which contradicted each other.  

“Yesterday was kind of a crazy day,” DeWine stated at the beginning of his briefing Friday, while holding up a copy of the “Columbus Dispatch” that showed a headline discussing his test results. 

Earlier in the day, during President Donald Trump’s visit to Ohio, Gov. DeWine took an antigen test, as is protocol from the White House to see the president.  

The test, which was arranged by the Republican National Committee, was from a pop-up mobile testing site held at Case Western Reserve, specifically for people who were going to see the president Thursday.  

DeWine returned to the governor’s mansion in Bexley, following the positive test result, where he took a second COVID-19 test. This time he, along with his staff and First Lady Fran DeWine, took a PCR test administered by doctors from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. 

DeWine said after his second test, he and Fran returned home to Cedarville. 

“Fran fixed me some chicken and rice soup. I think she thought we were settled in for the long haul here,” said DeWine. “But then, we got the test results from Ohio State that had come back negative for all of us.” 

The PCR test looks for the specific RNA for the SARS CoV-2 — in other words, the genetic material specific for the virus that causes COVID-19.  This test is known to be extremely sensitive, as well as specific, for the virus. 

The PCR tests for the Governor, First Lady, and staff were run two times. They came back negative the first time and came back negative when they were run on a second diagnostic platform.   

“We feel confident in the results from Wexner Medical Center. This is the same PCR test that has been used over 1.6 million times in Ohio by hospitals and labs all over the state,” DeWine’s office released in a statement. 

DeWine and a doctor who spoke during Friday’s briefing said the PCR test is the one that is used to test most Ohioans. DeWine said his administration is probing the accuracy of tests.

DeWine said President Trump called him Friday, to see how he was doing.

“He said he was told last night by the Secret Service that I had actually tested negative, so he was just calling to see how I was getting along, and we had a good conversation.”  

Out of an abundance of caution, and at the direction of medical professionals, the Governor and First Lady plan on having another PCR test on Saturday.  The results of these tests will also be released. 

Friday, DeWine also discussed a need to update Ohio’s disease data reporting system. He said the state has come a long way, but still more needs to be done.

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