For Immediate Release
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party
Stitt’s Mishandling of $1.26B CARES Act Funding Leaves Untold Number of Oklahomans to Mourn
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, FEBRUARY 5, 2021 – Oklahomans are tired of Stitt’s mishandling and lack of transparency of the State’s COVID response. The LOFT Legislative Oversight Committee responsible for the oversight of government spending reports $122 million in CARES Act money that may not align with the U.S. Treasury’s pandemic expenditures definition. As a deadly virus has been ravaging our State, it is reported that Stitt spent $2 million on a tourism video, $80,000 for office furniture, and $250,000 for a Cattlemen’s Congress event.
“Stitt promised Oklahomans transparency in our government,” said Alicia Andrews, Chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party. “This latest report demonstrates another broken promise and lack of leadership, especially after spending $2 million on hydroxychloroquine pills for debunked COVID treatments and $2.125 million of taxpayers’ money on 10,000 masks.
“Oklahoma is consistently ranked in the top five for COVID-19 positive cases and holds the nation’s number one spot for having the country’s least restrictions on handling the virus. Our hospitals have reached near-capacity, and we are transporting patients out of state for life-saving treatments due to unavailable ICU beds. Any possible misuse of CARES Act funds that could have been allocated to protect Oklahomans adequately would be unconscionable and a disservice to the many families and loved ones suffering,” Andrews continued.
“There is no justification for Stitt spending $18.6 million for modernizing the state’s welcome centers and another $2 million to produce a video encouraging people from other states to visit Oklahoma in the middle of a pandemic. One can’t help but wonder what role Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell played in this boondoggle. His very job is to promote tourism, but to do so with COVID relief funds is shameful.
“Stitt, Pinnell, and the whole of Republican so-called leaderships have caused lasting hurt to Oklahoma families. Their total mishandling of federal money that was meant to care for Oklahomans has caused the loss of thousands of Oklahoma lives. The needless suffering that Stitt’s money mismanagement has caused is absolutely unconscionable,” 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.