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ICYMI: DGA Files Records Request to Help Missourians Contact Trace Gov. Parson’s COVID Spread
Since Missouri Gov. Mike Parson refuses to initiate a strong contact tracing program to figure out who he may have exposed to the virus while asymptomatically spreading COVID-19, the Democratic Governors Association has filed public records requests to help Missourians determine if they may be at risk.
Parson has yet to initiate an emergency contact tracing protocol as recommended by the CDC, with his request-for-proposals not due until October 5 – 12 days after he announced his positive test. This is yet another example of the gross negligence that has characterized his entire response to the COVID crisis.
In the days leading up to his diagnosis, Parson was seen at countless public events without a “dang mask.” Four days before his positive test, Parson attended a campaign event alongside other Republican elected officials, including Missouri’s attorney general and secretary of state. None of the officials at the barbeque appeared to be wearing masks. And just two days before his positive test, Parson was pictured again without a mask at a restaurant in Joplin, potentially exposing more Missouians to the virus.
A veterans’ home visited by Parson eight days before his COVID-19 diagnosis is experiencing a major outbreak of the virus – at least 31 people at the home are infected.
In addition to refusing to disclose to Missourians who he may have exposed to the virus, Parson is also hiding how many of his staffers tested positive for COVID-19. Many elected officials who have tested positive for COVID-19 have disclosed that information to the public, including the president.
Read more about the DGA’s records request below:
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: None of your business: Parson’s office won’t say how many of his staffers have COVID-19
Gov. Mike Parson’s administration won’t say how many people in his office have tested positive for COVID-19.
That decision is a departure from what agencies under his control have been routinely reporting since the beginning of the pandemic.
Parson’s campaign had similarly ignored media inquiries asking about the governor’s whereabouts in the days before he tested positive.
Parson and the first lady did attend a campaign fundraiser on Sept. 17 at the Defiance property of Robert Brinkmann, the owner of Brinkmann Constructors. There were several dozen other people present, the Post-Dispatch has learned.
After this story was published on Friday, a Parson campaign official said the fundraiser was outdoors, socially distant, that masks were available, and that guest temperatures were taken before they entered the event.
The Parsons tested positive for COVID-19 six days later, on Sept. 23.
The lack of information has become an issue in the governor’s race, pitting Parson against Democratic Auditor Nicole Galloway.
On Friday, the Democratic Governors Association filed Sunshine Law requests with 16 different state and local agencies that Parson visited in the lead-up to his positive test. The request asks for any emails between the governor’s office and officials concerning COVID-19.
“I am requesting copies of incoming-and-outgoing email correspondence between the Kansas City Police Department and the Missouri Governor’s staff referencing their own COVID-19 status from September 10, 2020, to October 1, 2020,” DGA Executive Director Noam Lee wrote.
The various departments and agencies are based on public visits Parson and his entourage made in the lead-up to him testing positive.
In addition to the official public visits, Parson was seen at a number of events not wearing a mask.
Four days before his positive test, for example, Parson attended a campaign event alongside other Republican elected officials, including Missouri’s attorney general and secretary of state.
Two days before his positive test, Parson was pictured without a mask at a restaurant in Joplin, potentially exposing more Missourians to the virus.
“Gov. Parson emphasizes ‘personal responsibility’ as his main response to the COVID crisis but refuses to take responsibility for becoming a spreader of the disease himself. Since he can’t follow his own recommendations, Missourians, the press, and all who are concerned must figure out where he was while infectious, what precautions, if any, he put in place at his events to protect people, and who he may have put at risk with his careless actions,” said DGA spokeswoman Christina Amestoy.