Gov. Stitt Downplays Visit From White House's Dr. Birx

Thursday, August 6th 2020, 4:51 pm
By: Storme Jones


Governor Kevin Stitt is downplaying a planned visit by White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx.

“Our response to COVID-19 is being praised by the federal government as an example for other states,” Stitt told reporters at the state Capitol.

Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced Birx will visit Oklahoma and 5 other states.

“To deliver aggressive, tailored and targeted guidance,” Trump said. “The strategy we are taking to these states will protect those at highest risk while allowing others at lower risk to safely resume work and school.”

When asked whether he invited Birx, Stitt said he wasn’t sure if his office had extended an invitation or if she requested to the stop on the multi-state tour.

“We look forward to showing her the innovative partnerships with our regional hospitals as well as our states strategic efforts to support rural communities,” Stitt said.

The governor and Interim Health Commissioner Col. Lance Frye praised the state's response but offered differing analysis on the virus trajectory.

“We are currently on this plateau,” Stitt told reporters July 30. “We are averaging 700 to 1,100 new cases per day; we’ve been on this range for 3 weeks.”

Thursday, when asked if the daily new case totals or weekly average were on a “plateau,” Frye said, “I think it's too early to say whether it's plateaued or not, there's different things to look at. If you look at hospitalizations, we see that they're stable right now, if you're looking at the number of cases I think it's a little too early for me to say.”

“When you talk about a plateau, if we have 560 hospital beds and folks being treated for COVID on March 30 and we're 643 today, you can graph that however you want,” Stitt said. “But we have not seen the exponential growth that some folks predicted.”