Group Against Proposed Mask Ordinance In Tulsa

Tuesday, July 14th 2020, 5:41 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero

TULSA, Okla. -

A group of Tulsa citizens say they're ready to go head to head with Mayor G.T. Bynum to oppose his proposal mandating masks.

The group who is openly opposed to the proposed ordinance said their problem is not the masks, it's about not having a choice. 

"We will not comply, flat out will not comply," Dan Hedman said. Hedman is one of the organizers of the Facebook group "Tulsa Citizens Against Mask Mandates" that has more than 3,600 members and counting.

"The mayor has picked a fight with the citizens of Tulsa and if he wants to have this fight then we're going to bring it to him," Hedman said. 

The proposed ordinance said people 18 and older must wear a mask inside a building or public space. People caught without a mask would get a warning. Repeat offenders could get a citation and a $100 fine. 

Related Story: Mayor Bynum Releases Mask Ordinance Proposal

Tulsa physician Jim Meehan said masks are not the right prescription.

"So far it's been a one-sided conversation. It's been a conversation where it's all benefit and nobody's talking about the risk," Dr. Meehan explained. 

Dr. Meehan said wearing masks for an extended amount of time can hinder breathing and can also carry COVID-19 on the fabric, which can help it spread.

"What’s happened has been a segregation of science to politics, to misinformation and politics. Medical mask or medical intervention they should be a decision that’s made only by the individual consultation and counseling with her physician or some informed healthcare worker,” said Dr. Meehan.

Mayor Bynum said he agrees masks are not the only solution, but the ordinance beats the alternatives the city enforced earlier in the year, like rolling back the economy or putting too much burden on our healthcare system.

"All the all other alternatives to addressing our continually escalating rates are more evasive and more harmful than the people just having cloth over their face," Mayor Bynum said. 

Mask opponent Debbie Robertson said the group plans to protest tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in front of city hall.

"We are a very freedom-loving community and we are smart. We know how to take care of ourselves. We don't need the government to do that for us," Robertson said. 

Dr. Meehan said if the city does pass the mandatory mask mandate, he plans to file a lawsuit on Thursday. 

You can find the full ordinance proposal here.