Missouri’s governor is emphasizing that the coronavirus is not a political issue. Governor Mike Parson made his comments to Capitol reporters in Jefferson City on Friday afternoon, after he spoke on the phone to legislative leaders from both parties.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson addresses Capitol reporters in Jefferson City, after he declared a state of emergency in Missouri for coronavirus (March 13, 2020 file photo courtesy of the Governor’s office)

“And I hope people do not try to make it a political issue,” Parson says. “This is about everyday Missourians, is what this is about. It’s about all of us should be working together.”

The governor says he urged lawmakers in both parties to come together and to put Missourians first.

“All sides agreed to do just that, and I believe everyone believes right now it is about the sake of Missourians, and the safety of the people of this state and the health care of the people of this state,” says Parson.

Governor Parson also spoke to veteran State Rep. Joe Runions, D-Grandview, on the phone on Sunday. The 79-year-old Runions has tested positive for the coronavirus, and remains hospitalized in Kansas City.

Representative Runions is asking the governor to do anything he can to expedite the availability of testing kits.

The state Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) announced Sunday night that there are now 106 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Missouri.

Governor Parson has also announced that his daily press briefings will now be virtual-only, in accordance with his directive to avoid social gatherings of more than ten people.

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