For Immediate Release
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party
Fragile Republican Egos Interfere with Lawmaking
OKLAHOMA CITY—MARCH 16, 2022 – Evidently, many Oklahoma Republican lawmakers are bowing down to Trumpism to please Stitt. The anti-expert movement has infiltrated the Oklahoma Republican Party by stripping away measures that protect Oklahomans from cronyism and jeopardizing the public health of all Oklahomans.
“This bill has only one thing in mind, to give Stitt complete authority to appoint one of his own cronies as soon as he can sign it into law. Senate bill 709 attempts to remove the State Board of Health as overseer of the Health Commissioner and assign that role to the governor. Additionally, SB709 gives the governor power over the Health Commissioner if the governor doesn’t like a commissioner’s decision,” stated Alicia Andrews, Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair.
Currently, the Health Commissioner must have a doctor of medicine degree, or a Doctoral degree in Osteopathic Medicine, or a Doctoral degree in Public Health or Public Health Administration or a Master of Science Degree and a minimum of five (5) years of supervisory experience in the administration of health.
“The author of this bill wants to remove this expert qualification and minimize it so that anyone with a master’s degree and experience managing state agencies or projects. No medical experience at all. This means that neither the State Health Commissioner nor the governor will have any medical expert experience while controlling the State Health Department. This is very concerning considering that decisions made out of the governor’s office during the pandemic rejected important health recommendations that could have saved thousands of Oklahomans,” continued Andrews
“Republican lawmakers pushing this bill are more interested in catering to Stitt’s ego than protecting public health. After losing nearly 14 thousand Oklahoma lives to COVID, people who could have possibly been saved if proper protocols and protection had been put in place by the governor, Oklahomans should be worried about this attempt of government overreach and pandering to a governor’s ego. This is after all, a democracy and not a dictatorship. Oklahoma deserves so much better than the mess we are dealing with today,” Andrews concluded.
For more information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party, visit the party website at okdemocrats.org, or call party headquarters at 405-427-3366.