Dr. Deborah Birx, one of President Donald Trump’s leading COVID-19 advisers, is coming to Oklahoma, although the visit has been clouded in mystery.
Last week, Trump said Birx would be visiting Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas, but follow-up details have been nonexistent.
Has anyone seen the mysterious Dr. Birx?
No one seems to know the wheres or whens of her visit, although it appears it might happen Sunday.
Leaving the mystery aside, let’s concentrate on the whats ... as in what we hope the state tells Birx while she’s here and what advice she should give to the state in return.
Dr. Birx, the state’s efforts to contain COVID-19 haven’t worked well enough.
Last week our number of confirmed cases are up 991% from May 1, when the state’s reopening began. Deaths are up 55%. Hospitalizations are up 123%.
That’s not the result of more testing. It’s the result of more disease.
In addition, Gov. Kevin Stitt was called out by the leader of the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis for ignoring White House guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Now, what can you do for us?
First, you can tell our state leaders to act in the best interest of their constituents. That means a mandatory masking order and graduated guidelines that won’t allow for the unsafe openings of public schools just because we want things to be normal.
Second, you can tell President Trump we need more money. The lack of fast testing in the state is a disgrace. Unless you’re a relative of the governor, it takes days to schedule a test and more days to get the results. The solution to that problem is money.
Finally, you can offer us some hope. Nobody wants to be closed up, and the longer we remain isolated, the more potential there is for things to go horribly wrong.
Welcome to Oklahoma, Dr. Birx, wherever you are. When you get back to the White House, we hope you remember Oklahoma and find a way to solve some of its problems. We’re not doing a very good job on our own.
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