COVID-19 Raises the Stakes
As of early October, COVID-19 has made its way into the highest ranks of the government. President Donald Trump and Missouri Governor Mike Parson are among the government officials who have tested positive.
Governor Mike Parson tested positive for COVID-19 on September 23rd, 2020, just a few hours after his wife, Theresa Parson, tested positive. Mrs. Parson had experienced mild symptoms of COVID-19 - coughing and nasal congestion - which prompted testing for the married couple. They went into isolation at their cattle farm in Bolivar, Missouri. Governor Parson was asymptomatic during his infection, and posted videos to social media thanking people for their support and appeared in good health. The couple finished their quarantine, and returned to their normal schedules on October 5th. Governor Parson had continued to work from home during his quarantine, holding virtual staff meetings and press conferences. His positive COVID-19 test caused a debate scheduled for all four Missouri governor candidates to be postponed. The debate instead took place on October 9th. Governor Parson resumed his official visits to St. Joseph, Missouri on October 6th and St. Louis, Missouri on October 8th.
President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, announced that they tested positive for COVID-19 very late in the evening on October 1st, 2020. On the evening of October 2nd, President Trump was transported from the White House in a helicopter to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Since then, at least 27 of President Trump’s inner circle have tested positive for COVID-19. President Trump’s doctors held a press conference on October 3rd where they stated he was “72 hours” into his diagnosis, which implies he actually tested positive on Wednesday, September 30th. POTUS physician Sean Conley released a memo stating that they “misspoke” and that President Trump indeed tested positive on October 1st. President Trump was released from Walter Reed on Monday October 5th, from which he was taken back to the White House to finish out his quarantine and recovery. Conley updated on Wednesday, October 7th that President Trump is feeling great. Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) has acquired some more COVID-19 cases as well. The total number of cases since students started classes on campus on August 24th has reached 129, 12 of which were employees. Missouri S&T currently has 17 active cases, with 11 of those being students. These numbers are higher than in the last couple weeks, but are much lower than what was seen in the weeks following August 24th. The week of September 29th through October 2nd produced 16 total cases, which is six more than the previous week. Chancellor Mo Dehghani released a statement on October 5th for the S&T community, stating that the campus will be continuing with their plan to finish out the fall semester with a combination of in-person, hybrid, and online classes. He stated, “While I remain hopeful and optimistic about our ability to complete this semester as planned, please know that based on our steadfast principle of safety first, we stand ready to move all courses fully online if the need arises.” It was also announced that fall commencement will be held virtually for S&T graduates.
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