Kevin Stitt, a Republican businessman just elected as Oklahoma’s 28th governor, is an anti-vaxxer who doesn’t understand how herd immunity works.
Stitt beat Democrat Drew Edmondson by a comfortable 12 points despite never having run for elected office before, and he gives all the credit to God.
“I’ve got to give the Lord all the credit for getting me to this point,” Stitt, 45, told The Oklahoman Tuesday night. “It’s an amazing thing, to go from no name ID to becoming governor of this great state, but people are ready for change, and I’ve been saying that from the very beginning.”
Stitt may be “driven by faith” but religion likely had less to do with his election than having an “R” next to his name on the ballot. His conservative principles put him squarely in line with other Republican office holders, and that includes his ignorance of science. The Daily Beast pointed out months ago that Stitt has expressed irrational skepticism toward childhood vaccinations.
At an appearance before a conservative political forum this past February, Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt said he personally did not vaccinate some his own kids and opposed legislation that would require vaccinations for children if they wanted to attend public schools.
“I believe in choice,” Stitt said, “And we’ve got six children and we don’t vaccinate, we don’t do vaccinations on all of our children. So we definitely pick and choose which ones we’re gonna do. It’s gotta be up to the parents, we can never mandate that. I think there’s legislation right now that are trying to mandate that to go to public schools, it’s absolutely wrong. My wife was home schooled, I went to public schools, our kids go to Christian school, and that’s back to a parent’s choice.”
Stitt’s comments raise the specter that Oklahoma could water down immunization laws should he be elected the state’s governor this fall. They also place him within a growing fringe of politicians who have, in recent years, expressed skepticism over the prevalence of childhood vaccinations — a group that includes President Donald Trump himself.
Leave it to a conservative to value “choice” only when it’s the worst option available…
There’s nothing wrong with choice when it only affects you and your body. But it’s no longer personal when you’re putting the entire community at risk. That’s what’s at stake when you don’t vaccinate your kids. Everyone else’s kids are placed in harm’s way.
Stitt values “personal choice” above the lives of sick students. He’s showing a lack of compassion as well as a misunderstanding of key scientific principles that affect the lives of every Oklahoman. If he uses his power to make vaccines optional for public schoolchildren, it would cause long-lasting damage to the people he’s supposed to be protecting. Here’s hoping the media, activists, and other politicians keep Stitt from inflicting that damage on his state.
(Screenshot via YouTube)