Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum announcing that Tulsa County has its first case of the coronavirus in Tulsa, OK, Mar. 6, 2020. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

s the COVID-19 health crisis has come to America, we are learning a lot about our friends and neighbors.

We are seeing just how compassionate, quick to help and resourceful people can be.

But we are also seeing just how many of us are willing to manufacture out of whole cloth confused, inaccurate and downright dangerous “facts” about how bad the crisis is or what we should or shouldn’t be doing.

I’ve developed a simple habit to address this problem: Ask what is that based on?

It’s natural for people to believe different things, but we owe it to each other to explain why we’re saying so that others can decide whether to listen.

This is especially important to do with our elected leaders.

So, what exactly did Gov. Kevn Stitt use to make his business-as-usual approach to this crisis?

What is he reading that apparently every infectious disease expert on the planet is missing? Who is advising him that, contrary to the advice of public health agencies and leaders everywhere (including President Donald Trump), we shouldn’t be taking drastic steps to limit the spread of this disease or else face a potential collapse of our health care system?

In short, what in the world is he thinking?

In Oklahoma, we’re quite used to our leaders having their heads full of strange, even dangerous, ideas. But they at least owe us an accounting of where those ideas are coming from.

Christiaan Mitchell, Tulsa

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