Becoming the first U.S. governor to test positive for COVID-19 apparently wasn’t enough to convince the perennially mask-resistant Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) to do some reevaluating.
“I’m not thinking about a mask mandate at all,” Stitt said during a press call on Wednesday, arguing that “you can’t pick and choose what freedoms you’re going to give people.”
“So if the businesses want to do it, if some local municipalities want to do it, that’s fine,” the governor said. “But again, we also respect people’s rights to stay home if they want, to run their businesses, or to not wear a mask.”
Like President Donald Trump, Stitt has repeatedly balked at wearing a mask or facial covering out in public, including Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa on June 20. The city saw an explosion of COVID-19 cases after the rally, which “more than likely” contributed to the surge, according to Tulsa Health Department director Dr. Bruce Dart.
Stitt told reporters on Wednesday that he didn’t believe there was “any way” he could have gotten infected at Trump’s event. Oklahoma State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye, who was also on the press call, confirmed that the rally was too long ago for the governor to have contracted the virus directly from it.