Oklahoma will no longer receive reports from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, after the state decided to opt out from getting them.
The White House reports have been sent to states for several months, with specific data like hospital admissions and the COVID-19 test positivity rate. State leaders didn’t always follow the task force’s advice.
Governor Kevin Stitt has previously said the Oklahoma State Department of Health data and criteria are better indicators of COVID-19 on the local level than the White House reports.
His office has made White House task force reports available on the state's website since June but will no longer request them from the federal government. The last White House report available through the OSDH was on December 6.
It says that "despite the severity of this surge and threat to the hospital systems, many state and local governments are not implementing the same mitigation policies that stemmed the tide of the summer surge, that must happen now."
Medical professionals said the more data that's available to them, the better.
"We don't wait to put all our eggs in one basket and just look at one thing but look at multiple methodologies. Their methodologies are obviously different, the White House, but it doesn't mean that it's bad, it's actually quite interesting, and I personally like to look at all of it," Dr. Jean Hausheer with the Healthier Oklahoma Coalition said.
The Healthier Oklahoma Coalition COVID Task Force said they'd like to see the flow of information from the White House continue. They said it's important to see how the federal government views how Oklahoma is doing.
"Especially at the federal level where most of the funds originate to help states get through this, we need to know they know. We need to know they're parroting back to us; we understand what's going on in Oklahoma and what our numbers are," Dr. David Kendrick with the OU College of Community Medicine said.
News On 6 reached out to the governor's office for a response and have not heard back.