Typically when there is a disaster or a crisis, politicians take to the streets to shake hands, give hugs, and survey the land. With the coronavirus things are different. People are trying to stay apart, protect themselves from germs, and keep the virus contained. One person didn’t seem to get the memo, however.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) was among the few governors who refused to issue a shutdown order in his state, preferring to allow cities to make their own decisions.
Meanwhile, he bragged on Twitter about standing shoulder to shoulder with a group of students from Enid, Oklahoma, while a majority of Americans where photos show few were observing the six-foot rule.
I had a great time visiting with students from Longfellow Middle School in Enid today! These young Oklahomans are the future leaders of our state, and I am excited to see the positive impact they will continue to have in their school and community. #OklaProud pic.twitter.com/XBQQUoddXh
— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) March 10, 2020
Finally, after bucking the trend and being called out on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Stitt decided to order social-distancing. But while the government claims to be doing all of the right things, he’s not living the quarantine life. Instead, he’s visiting places around Oklahoma to talk to people on the front lines of the crisis, without a mask.
Photos showed no one in the lab was wearing personal protective equipment as they huddled together.
He then turned to his advisers as they did a video conference with the president. None of the people at the table were sitting six feet apart.
I talked with @POTUS, @VP, & Governors from across the nation about how we can keep innovating together. Our federal delegation is helping Oklahomans get the supplies & relief we need. pic.twitter.com/1I7ZBll4lR
— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) March 20, 2020
The governor took any of those germs acquired at previous visits to a hospital to investigate how healthcare workers were doing. Thankfully, most of the nurses kept their distance, but Stitt refused to use any protective equipment again.
It was an honor to visit the healthcare workers on the front lines at INTEGRIS Baptist today.
I met with nurses, pulmonary specialists & other medical pros hard at work caring for our community to let them know how grateful their fellow Oklahomans are for their long hours. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/geTMqJM9Cg
— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) March 21, 2020
He then took his show to Stillwater, Oklahoma to look at test kits at Oklahoma State University. In one photo he was featured wearing gloves, but still wasn’t wearing a mask.
Update❗️@okstate just received the reagents to perform 10,000 #COVID19 tests! Thank you to @burnshargis, Dr. Shrum & the healthcare workers who are working to increase our state's testing kit capacity. These kits will help Oklahoma make data-driven decisions to #FlattenTheCurve. pic.twitter.com/qBqnC5EiLY
— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) March 26, 2020
While schools are closed down, Still went out to Martin Luther King Elementary, where meals were being handed out. He was finally wearing gloves, but still no mask.
We also ran into some volunteers at Martin Luther King Elementary who are helping to provide food for kids while they are not able to get their school meals. Proud of how Oklahomans are stepping up to help one another. #OklaProud pic.twitter.com/KytWWkWJTC
— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) March 31, 2020
He then took his tour to schools in Oklahoma City.
“Great visiting @IMMYdiagnostics yesterday with Dr. Schrum to see some of our state’s new testing kits. With over 15,000 kits available statewide, Oklahoma is continuing to increase our stockpile to test as many people as possible & make data-driven decisions,” Stitt tweeted.
Great visiting @IMMYdiagnostics yesterday with Dr. Schrum to see some of our state’s new testing kits. With over 15,000 kits available statewide, Oklahoma is continuing to increase our stockpile to test as many people as possible & make data-driven decisions. pic.twitter.com/gapQA6Yr7P
— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) April 3, 2020
The governor took all of the germs acquired at those previous places to deliver food to the elderly.
My family and I had a great time today working with @endinghungerokc to deliver Meals on Wheels to our senior citizens in OKC. Thankful for organizations like this who provide for our vulnerable populations while we work to #PreventTheSpread of #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/1L9lS78G3Y
— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) March 31, 2020
Oklahomans responded to the governor with questions as to why he was refusing to follow social distancing guidelines, wear masks or other PPE, and spread germs from place to place.
You can see their comments below:
#prventcovid where is your mask at
— John Butler (@jbutler4267) March 31, 2020
OK, our country, and the world are in crisis over the spread of this virus and all you can do is create photo opportunities? Shame on you!!! Do your job and implement a #ShelterInPlace order for everyone in OK and review your irrational and absurd guidelines for essential biz
— Sybi (@VegSyl) April 1, 2020
Same I live near Coalgate and people are just all over the place like nothing is wrong.
We are not bad off right now, but we need a shelter in place to keep it from getting worst :(
— Joshua McDonald (@JoshuKiisu) April 2, 2020
Rules for thee, but not for me. Ordering everyone to close and not visit those at risk while he staying open and visits those at risk for a photo op.
— Justin T. Southerland (@JTSoutherland) April 1, 2020
You just don't get it! This is not a photo op! Stay behind the podium and #StayAtHome !
— George Adams (@OKFilmmaker) April 1, 2020