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Coronavirus In Ohio: DeWine's Third COVID-19 Test Comes Back Negative

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, left, and his wife Fran, walk into the governor's residence on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Bexley, Ohio.
Jay LaPrete
Associated Press
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, left, and his wife Fran, walk into the governor's residence on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Bexley, Ohio.

Gov. Mike DeWine tested negative for COVID-19 in a third test on Saturday, after receiving conflicting results from tests Thursday.

On Thursday, before a planned meeting with President Trump, DeWine received a rapid-result test in Cleveland that came back positive. A few hours later, a second test at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center in Columbus was negative for both him and First Lady Fran DeWine.

DeWine and his wife took another test on Saturday to confirm, and the results returned negative once more.

Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, DeWine said the first result came from a rapid-result antigen test while the second and third tests – both of which were negative – were the more accurate PCR test.

“That's the test that we have been using in Ohio," DeWine told CNN's Dana Bash. "The antigen tests are fairly new. And the companies that are coming out with them, quite frankly, have the burden of showing, you know, how good they are."

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted tested negative both times on Thursday.

After this incident, DeWine said he and the other governors in an eight-state compact haven’t decided whether they’ll buy the rapid antigen tests, but they still intend to their collective use purchasing power to buy tests and other supplies.

Over the weekend, Ohio surpassed 100,000 cases of COVID-19, while the number of deaths reached 3,397.

DeWine also says he’s looking at the pandemic-related executive orders signed over the weekend by President Trump. In one memorandum, Trump authorized the federal government to pay an additional $300 per week to people on unemployment, while states could pay an additional $100 per week – a replacement for the $600 unemployment payments that recently lapsed.

Though there are questions about the constitutionality of those orders, DeWine – who is Ohio’s former attorney general – said Trump is in a difficult situation.

“He's got a blunt instrument, and that's the executive order," DeWine said. "He's trying to do something. He's trying to move the ball forward. But I think it's – what happen – what really needs to happen is, Congress needs to get back in and negotiate."

DeWine said the state is looking at whether it can pay that extra $100 in unemployment benefits, but says he hopes for a "middle ground" compromise that would give people extra money to return to work. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) is among those pushing for such a plan.