Montana Governor Greg Gianforte tested positive for coronavirus.
The Republican, who received a first vaccine last week, will isolate himself for 10 days, in accordance with public health guidelines and his doctor’s recommendations, his office said. His wife, Susan Gianforte, was also examined and showed no symptoms while waiting for the results.
Gianforte said he and his staff had been screened regularly since he was sworn in on January 4. Personnel were due to be re-examined Tuesday and people with whom the governor had recent close contact had been notified, the governor’s office said.
Gianforte is in his first term as governor of Montana, after unsuccessfully running against Democrat Steve Bullock in 2016.
Gianforte then ran for the US House of Representatives in a special election in 2017. It made national news in May of that year when he attacked Ben Jacobs, then a reporter for The Guardian, during a campaign event.
The body attack, captured on audio by Jacobs and corroborated by Fox News reporters, resulted in a misdemeanor charge of assault.
Although an aide initially issued a false statement about the attack, Gianforte pleaded guilty to assault and was fined and sentenced to anger management classes. He also agreed to donate $ 50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Regardless, Gianforte won Montana’s only House seat and was reelected in 2018. In 2020, he beat Democrat Mike Cooney to become governor.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Montana has recorded more than 105,000 Covid-19 cases and 1,466 deaths.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that Covid-19 vaccines do not cause positive test results for viral coronavirus.