Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R), who has been embroiled in a controversy this week after tweeting (and then deleting) an image of himself and his family in a crowded restaurant during a global pandemic, has said he will continue to go out “without living in fear.”
On Saturday, Stitt tweeted a photo of his family with the caption: “Eating with my kids and all my fellow Oklahomans at the @CollectiveOKC. It’s packed tonight!”
The governor, who on Sunday declared a state of emergency in Oklahoma in light of the coronavirus outbreak, was lambasted for not practicing social distancing and avoiding crowds to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
The governor’s position “has not changed from the instructions he gave Oklahomans on Thursday: Use good common sense, follow the recommended health precautions, protect the elderly and vulnerable populations, but continue to remain calm, live your life and support local businesses,” his chief of communications, Charlie Hannema, said in an email sent Monday to CNN.
“The governor will continue to take his family out to dinner and to the grocery store without living in fear and encourages Oklahomans to do the same,” Hannema added.
COVID-19 has killed more than 7,000 people worldwide and has caused leaders around the world to take various measures to flatten the curve to help slow transmission. In addition to wide-scale events being canceled en masse, many local governments have shut down everything from public buses to restaurants, bars and cultural centers.
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