Reporter Who Covered President Trump's Tulsa Rally Says He Tested Positive for COVID-19

Madeleine Carlisle

A reporter in Oklahoma who covered President Donald Trump’s June 20 rally in Tulsa, Okla., says he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Paul Monies, a reporter for the investigative nonprofit news organization the Oklahoma Watch, disclosed his test on Twitter on Friday.

“Friends, I tested positive for #COVID19. I’m pretty surprised,” Monies tweeted. “I have zero symptoms (so far) and I feel fine. In fact, I ran five miles this morning.”

He said he spent “the last few hours” calling people he’s come into contact with within the last 14 days, adding, “Be safe out there.”

Monies told the Associated Press that he covered the President’s rally in Tulsa for around six hours. He said he wore a mask and practiced social distancing except when he went to buy a snack. He also said he did not come close to President Trump.

Six of the President’s campaign staffers helping to organize the rally had also tested positive for coronavirus, the campaign announced before the rally. The campaign said that none of those staffers would attend the event.

Leading public health experts expressed concern last week that the Tulsa rally could create a new COVID-19 hotspot in the U.S. The Hill reports that many people at the rally were seen not wearing masks. Experts say both being indoors and not wearing a mask sharply increases the risk of transmitting the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance says that all people, regardless of if they’re experiencing symptoms, should wear a mask in public settings.

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. are rising. The past week saw averages as high as 31,700 new cases a day, greater than the previous highest point the country reached in April. As of Saturday morning ET, there have been at least 2,467,874 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. and at least 125,039 confirmed deaths, per a tracker from Johns Hopkins University. The tracker has identified at least 3,103 confirmed cases in Tulsa County.