Knowledge is power. But our governor has decided Oklahoma doesn't need the knowledge that comes in the weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force Report.

The report will no longer be sent out to each state every week. Instead, each state has to request the report individually. Oklahoma will no longer be requesting the report.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has been at odds with the reports in the past.

Past reports have been critical of Oklahoma’s lack of COVID-19 restrictions and precautions and have advocated for Oklahoma to implement a statewide mask mandate, which Stitt refuses to do. In a report the state released Dec. 9, the task force noted that “unlike other states in the Heartland, cases and new hospital admissions (in Oklahoma) are not plateauing.”

What that means is that the number of Oklahomans dying from COVID-19 continues to rise.

The State Department of Health did point out that much of the information used to create that report is now publicly available. But what will be missing from that report?

Some Oklahoma medical professionals said having more information available could better help the state navigate the pandemic.

Dr. George Monks, president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, said every bit of information the medical community receives is helpful.

Oklahoma state Rep. Forrest Bennett, D-OKC, said he can’t find a reason why officials would not want to receive this report.

“If you are in the middle of a crisis, you should avail yourself of as much information as possible,” Bennett said. “And I have yet to hear a good excuse as to why we’re not taking everything that’s on the table. It’s frustrating and I do wonder what we’re missing out on.”

Bennett said he believes the public should be presented this report and the government should not opt out of receiving it, and we agree. 

This is a battle for survival for all of us. Our governor should do everything possible to make sure our doctors and scientists have all of the information they can get their hands on. Our lives depend on it.

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