Reporter at Trump’s Tulsa rally tests positive for COVID-19

Politics

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A journalist who attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa last week said Friday he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Oklahoma Watch reporter Paul Monies said he was notified Friday of his positive diagnosis.

“I’m pretty surprised,” Monies wrote on Twitter. “I have zero symptoms (so far) and I feel fine. In fact, I ran 5 miles this morning.”

Monies said he was inside the rally for about 6 hours on Saturday at the BOK Center and that he wore a mask and mostly practiced social distancing, except for when he went to the concourse to get a snack. He said he was never close to the president.

An epidemiologist at the Oklahoma City-County Health Department who notified Monies of his positive result said it’s difficult to determine if he contracted the coronavirus at the rally.

“I can’t say definitively that I got it at the rally,” Monies said. “But it’s someone I’ve been in contact with in the last two weeks.”

Monies said he hasn’t yet been contacted by contact tracers to try and determine everyone he’s been in contact with, but he has taken it upon himself to reach out to anyone he has been close to in the last two weeks.

“I spent a couple of hours reaching out to anyone I was in contact with indoors, a few friends in the neighborhood,” Monies said. “I just felt it was my responsibility to tell people I knew myself that I have tested positive.”

Six of Trump’s campaign staffers and two members of the Secret Service working in advance of the Oklahoma rally also have tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Bruce Dart, the executive director of Tulsa City-County Health Department, had recommended that the rally be postponed because of a surge in reported positive cases of coronavirus linked to large indoor gatherings.

Oklahoma has reported record daily highs of reported positive COVID-19 cases in the last week.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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