White House Coronavirus Task Force | KGOU
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White House Coronavirus Task Force

President-Elect, Oklahoma State Medical Association
Stillwater Medical

New figures from the Oklahoma State Department of Health show the rapid rise of coronavirus cases is pushing the state into new territory. Over the last five days, the state has registered 11,100 new cases, including 2,667 on Friday, November 13th. The state's trend line in November is going practically straight up and the White House Coronavirus Task Force has issued a stern warning about the direction the state is heading with winter approaching. 

In this July 9, 2020 file photo, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks during a news conference in Oklahoma City. Stitt, the first governor in the nation to test positive for the coronavirus, says he has donated plasma to help other virus patients recover.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Coronavirus again dominated news coming out of Oklahoma's state capitol, as Governor Kevin Stitt pointed to positive trends in the state and questioned data being used by the Trump Administration's Coronavirus Task Force. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss the latest on the state of Oklahoma's COVID-19 response in this week's Capitol Insider.

University of Oklahoma Seed Sower Statue With Coronavirus Mask
Richard Bassett / KGOU

The White House Coronavirus Task Force released its most recent report on Oklahoma this week. StateImpact’s Catherine Sweeney reports that the document offers new advice to officials in university towns.

NIAID Coronavirus Prevention Network/National Institute of Health

Beginning in late June and continuing for several weeks, the White House Coronavirus Task Force warned state leaders that Oklahoma was in the "red zone" for coronavirus transmission. However, despite growing urgency from the White House for the state to adopt new, stricter policies, the recommendations have been largely ignored.  

Gov. Kevin Stitt, center, and White House Coronavirus Task Force response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, right, at a private roundtable in Tulsa on Aug. 16
Office of Gov. Kevin Stitt

The White House Coronavirus Task Force recommended Oklahoma close all of its bars and implement a statewide mask mandate. That recommendation came in a report that the White House has not released to the public, and that state officials have not released to city and public health leaders.