Ohio Gov. DeWine, who tested positive then negative for coronavirus, seeks to calm testing fears
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Sunday sought to reassure Americans about the efficacy of coronavirus testing after he tested positive last week for the coronavirus before meeting with President Trump — then tested negative just hours later.
He told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that the antigen test he took, aimed at getting a quick result, is not the test most Americans are getting — a PCR test — which he said is “very, very, very” accurate.
“What people should not take away from my experience is that testing is not reliable or doesn’t really work,” DeWine said. “What I took was an antigen test, which really should be looked at as a screening test. 1.3 million Ohioans have taken a PCR test. That test is very, very, very reliable, and so that is the diagnostic test, that is the test that we’ve been using in Ohio. The antigen test is fairly new.”
DeWine said that he plans to move forward with an initiative, cooperating with other states, that would include procuring and using antigen tests — but that they would be careful in how they deploy the antigen tests.
“All we’ve done is we’ve said ‘let’s group together, put our purchasing power together, not just potentially for antigen tests, but maybe for other things as well. So we’re taking this one step at a time,” DeWine said. “If anyone needed a wake-up call about antigens, how careful you have to be, we certainly saw that with my test. We’re going to be very careful in how we use it.”
DeWine also said that he wants more federal funding for his state to help build out Ohio’s coronavirus testing and contact tracing system.
“We doubled our testing in the last four weeks. We need to double it again, then double it again,” DeWine said. “That is not going to be cheap to do.”
The Republican governor also expressed confidence in voting by mail, saying that Ohio has long used absentee ballots, when asked about efforts by Trump to oppose states using universal mail-in ballots in an effort to limit election-related coronavirus risk.
“We have long experience in voting by mail,” DeWine said. His state is sending all voters applications to obtain absentee ballots, not actual absentee ballots, like many other states are. “Absentee ballot has worked very well in Ohio … I’m comfortable, you always have to worry about fraud. You have to be vigilant. We have a great secretary of state, Frank LaRose.”
“It’s gonna work,” DeWine added.