Communications & Public Affairs
July 26, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wes Carter, Press Secretary
House Democratic Caucus
Democrats Call for Governor to Change Course, Declare Emergency
OKLAHOMA CITY – Several Oklahoma House Democrats released statements today calling for Gov. Kevin Stitt to reinstate the emergency declaration for COVID-19. The statements follow several schools, including Broken Arrow, Owasso, and Stillwater, announcing policies to not quarantine students who have been exposed.
State Rep. Trish Ranson, D-Stillwater:
“After speaking to leadership in some of these districts, it is becoming clear that they are following guidance from the state health department, which is concerning since the policies are not consistent with CDC guidelines. Stillwater is an education town, and the lack of consistent and fact-based policy from state leadership has left our entire community exposed and unprepared for this growing COVID wave.
“Oklahomans, especially those making decisions to keep children safe, need better information from state leadership, and we need the Governor to declare a state of emergency.”
State Rep. Andy Fugate, D-Del City
“Once again the Governor is AWOL when leadership is needed. COVID is exploding across Oklahoma. Our hospitals are again diverting emergency patients. Oklahoma leads the nation in COVID growth but the Governor is too busy posing for pictures and campaigning across the state on the taxpayer’s dime to deal with the crisis unfolding before our very eyes. Oklahomans deserve action to protect lives and the state economy.”
State Rep. Melissa Provenzano, D-Tulsa:
“Needs across Oklahoma are different, and one thing is clear – we need local control returned and we need it now. Our little ones cannot get the vaccine, and they are getting sick in larger numbers with the Delta variant. We must be able to take the steps necessary to protect the lives of those who cannot protect themselves. School begins soon, and for most, in-person learning is best. To prevent unnecessary shifts to virtual learning, I urge the Governor to declare a state of emergency so that our neighborhood schools, hometown hospitals, and local health departments can make the decisions quickly that are right for their towns.”
State Rep. John Waldron, D-Tulsa:
“We are failing in our responsibility to keep our children safe, which is the most basic responsibility of government. So next year, rather than quarantine those who have been exposed, we will have to revert to virtual schooling again because our school buildings will have become hazardous environments.”