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Gov. Stitt, attorney general discuss federal vaccine mandates

Ben Felder
The Frontier

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt says he’s devoted to thwarting the Biden administration’s efforts to get more people vaccinated via mandates at every turn. During a press conference on Tuesday, Stitt touted his efforts to fight the federal government.

Stitt says his administration is resolute in its efforts to stop the Biden administration from directing employers, National Guard and even healthcare systems to mandate the vaccine.

"President Biden’s administration does not believe in personal responsibilities," Stitt said. "President Biden doesn’t trust Americans to make decisions for themselves."

That’s why he says Oklahoma has joined in filing five lawsuits against the federal government over COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

Attorney General John O’Connor was given $10 million by the legislature to fight the federal government. But he said Tuesday he doesn’t know how much he’s spent so far.

When questioned about why COVID-19 inoculations are being treated differently than other vaccines required for members of the military O'Connor responded, saying "the science really isn't clear on this COVID vaccine." He also stated that it can be difficult to discern what sources to trust for information about the COVID-19 vaccines.

The president of Oklahoma State Medical Association, Dr. Mary Clarke, criticized the attorney general's comments. Clarke said O'Connor's remarks are misleading and called it a "gross misrepresentation" to suggest anyone should be deterred from being vaccinated because of the science.

Federal regulators have repeatedly said the available coronavirus vaccines are safe and effective. Getting vaccinated greatly reduces the risk of being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19.

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Robby Korth grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a journalism degree.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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