Communications & Public Affairs
July 30, 2020

Wes Carter, Press Secretary
Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus
(405) 962-7674

Minority Leader Calls on Governor to Implement CDC Recommendations

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, today released the following statement after a U.S. House of Representative COVID-19 subcommittee Chairman Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-South Carolina, admonished Governor Kevin Stitt for not following the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommendations. Clyburn, who sent a letter to Stitt asking the governor’s office to submit documentation to the House subcommittee, said Stitt failed to implement five different recommendations from the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

“We live in a time where every issue quickly becomes politically charged,” Virgin said. “I mention that because it is important to note that the recommendations the governor has chosen to ignore are coming from the White House. These different actions were created to keep citizens safe.

“In June, House Democrats asked the governor to implement a color-coded alert system that would help Oklahomans better prepare and react to the pandemic. We did not expect the governor to take that idea and create a less safe alternative to the CDC’s alert system. What we saw as a tool for transparency, the governor apparently saw as an opportunity to hide information from Oklahomans.

“The governor’s alert system waits longer than the CDC before recommending that actions be taken. This delay means more people will contract COVID. When you consider our rising cases and our rising hospitalizations, you can see how the governor ignoring these recommendations has been bad for Oklahoma.

“Additionally, think of the local municipalities that have been trying to navigate through this pandemic. They could have used this information to make better-informed decisions to keep their communities safe.

“Our citizens deserve to know when the governor received these recommendations from the CDC, what actions he took after he received them, and if he has chosen not to follow them, why he made that decision.

“Following the advice of public health experts is the best way to protect Oklahomans and the economy. We must implement these recommendations today. Every day the governor stalls for politics, more Oklahomans get sick.”