ICYMI: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson Knowingly Visited State Office With a COVID Outbreak, Then Appeared Maskless At Events In Following Days
How many Missourians did he put in harm’s way?
An investigation revealed today that Missouri Gov. Mike Parson was warned in advance about a coronavirus outbreak at a state office building – but he visited the office anyway and was seen in the following days not wearing a mask. In that same week, Parson also went to a veterans’ home, a restaurant, and other public events, sometimes without a mask, and he didn’t notify anyone that he had visited a building with a COVID-19 outbreak.
Parson’s failure to notify others about the COVID-19 outbreak at the state office building, and his refusal to wear a mask when around others reflects the poor decision-making and lack of personal responsibility that has characterized his entire response to the pandemic. Even when Parson himself tested positive for the virus, he refused to properly contact-trace his contacts and warn anyone he may have exposed, and he still hasn’t revealed the details of the outbreak within his own office.
For what it’s worth, Parson thinks he’s doing a great job – he said Missouri is “on the right track” with COVID-19, and that the state has set the “standard nationwide” for how to handle veterans’ homes.
Here’s the “track” Missouri is on: Parson was diagnosed with COVID-19 a week after his visit to the state office building. The veterans’ home reported its first case one day after Parson’s visit. In total, 68 Missouri veterans have died since September 1st as a result of the outbreak across five state-run homes. More than 1,800 state employees have tested positive for the virus so far. In total, Missouri has had over 166,000 cases, and reported over 2,500 deaths. And if COVID-19 continues spreading at this rate, the state will run out of ICU beds.
Read more about Parson’s poor decision-making skills below.
St. Louis Post Dispatch: Emails show Parson was warned about virus outbreak before visit to state office building
Gov. Mike Parson proceeded with an event at a state office building last month after staff warned his office of a cluster of COVID-19 cases among state workers in the building, according to emails obtained by the Post-Dispatch.
Parson, a Republican running for a four-year term, was diagnosed with COVID-19 a week after the visit, on Sept. 23, and began a 10-day isolation period at the Governor’s Mansion.
The emails show that Lori Croy, a public relations officer at the Department of Commerce and Insurance, asked Kelli Jones, Parson’s spokeswoman, on Sept. 13 whether the governor wanted to move forward with an event at the Harry S Truman State Office Building on Sept. 16 “given the building situation.”
The situation Croy referenced was detailed in an email forwarded to Jones that mentioned a “small cluster” of COVID-19 cases at the state office building. The email to Truman Building staff said that on Friday, the state began testing employees working within the affected area.
Of 100 tests, 12 came back positive, according to the email.
“Most of these were from people showing NO symptoms,” the email said. “It is important to remember that even if someone does not show symptoms he or she can both spread the virus to others and suffer adverse health effects.”
“Governor Parson still plans to swing by on Wednesday,” Jones told Croy on Monday, Oct. 14.
Parson’s office has not said whether officials have any indication where the governor contracted the virus.
The day before his visit to the Truman Building, on Sept. 15, Parson visited the Mt. Vernon Veterans Home in southwest Missouri.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been working hard to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe,” Parson said in a Facebook post. “Our Missouri Veterans Commission has set the standard nationwide for veteran homes.”
On Sept. 16, the day after Parson’s visit and the same day as his visit to Truman, the state veterans commission logged its first case of the virus at the Mt. Vernon home. Jones, Parson’s spokeswoman, said the governor’s office didn’t believe he contracted the virus there.
Between the visit to the state office building and the day he and his wife tested positive for the virus, Parson made numerous in-person visits elsewhere.
Though some photographs show Parson wearing a mask during this time, others show him without a mask.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing masks when physical distancing is difficult to maintain in order to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
His Democratic opponent in the Nov. 3 election, State Auditor Nicole Galloway, has said she would implement rules requiring face coverings in public places, something Parson has resisted.