Kansas House speaker had virus; governor tests negative

Rep. Ron Ryckman Jr. attended a July 29 meeting at the Statehouse after he was hospitalized. Colleagues, especially Democrats said he should have disclosed.

By

State News

August 7, 2020 - 2:54 PM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A top Republican legislator in Kansas was hospitalized last month after testing positive for the novel coronavirus and didn’t disclose it to colleagues until this week. The state’s Democratic governor tested negative Friday, after taking a test because the two of them attended a meeting together after he was hospitalized.

Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr.’s delayed acknowledgment of his hospitalization — in an email to fellow House Republicans after Tuesday’s primary — concerned colleagues, particularly Democrats. Gov. Laura Kelly called his decision to attend a July 29 meeting at the Statehouse “reckless and dangerous.”

Ryckman, from the Kansas City area, is the highest-ranking official in Kansas known to have been infected. Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma tested positive last month.

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