“It’s a reminder of how much leadership matters and how even under difficult circumstances, with limited resources, you can make a huge difference.”

-Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, praising the Cherokee Nation’s science-based virus response [STAT

“This isn’t about magic words, it’s about doing the right thing.”

-Gov. Kevin Stitt, commenting on his opposition to statewide mask requirements [Tulsa World]

“(W)e’re disappointed that we’re not trying to prevent more. We’re making sure there’s enough hospital space after every woman gets sick instead of trying to prevent people getting sick. So that’s been our biggest disappointment, I think, in some of our elected officials that the understanding is let’s treat instead of prevent.”

-Dr. Mary S. Clarke, president-elect of the Oklahoma State Medical Association [KGOU]

“The unyielding COVID spread across Oklahoma continues with new hospital admissions, inpatients, and patients in the ICU at record levels, indicating deeper spread across the state. The most recent trends, showing steep inclines across all indicators, need immediate action including mask requirements to decrease severity in morbidity and mortality among Oklahomans.”

White House Coronavirus Task Force report for Oklahoma, Nov. 8, 2020 

“Politically convenient speeches about freedom and personal responsibility are not preventing our ICUs from being maxed out.”

-Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum imploring the state and neighboring communities to take actions to slow COVID-19 spread [Public Radio Tulsa]

“We have no reason to believe our revised number is an anomaly, but instead shows community spread is occurring.”

-Oklahoma State Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye about Saturday’s record case count, which was revised on Sunday but was still double the previous daily record [Public Radio Tulsa]

“Oklahoma still has an incarceration crisis. Even if SQ 805 had passed, there is so much work that needs to be done. Oklahoma did not get to the world’s highest incarceration rates overnight.”

-Kris Steele, executive director of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform, speaking about voters turning down a recent justice reform measure [Tulsa World]

“I feel like my vote matters. I’m kind of a whole new generation so I feel like it’s my opportunity to help change things.”

-Jesse Marker, a 23-year-old, first-time voter who was the last person in line at a Noble polling station that had a five-hour wait on Tuesday [Oklahoma Watch]

“We got in line (four hours ago). They should have had a special line for disabled people and they could have set this up better — Chick-Fil-A is easier to get through than this.”

-Noble resident Mary Beth Davis. She arrived at her Noble polling place at 9:30 a.m. and was still in line at 1:30 p.m. [Norman Transcript]

“It was for me one of the most important events in my life here in the U.S. I felt very honored to (vote), and it’s a big responsibility at the same time.” 

-Luis Garcia Buchard of Oklahoma City, who voted in his first presidential election this fall after becoming a U.S. citizen in August 2019. [The Oklahoman]