Trump administration officials reached out to The Madill Record this week to share details of programs to support Oklahoma during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Megan Burris, special assistant to the president and director of White House media, cited the president’s leadership during the health crisis.
“Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, Oklahoma has received significant federal resources to appropriately respond to and slow the spread of COVID-19,” Burris said. “The President will continue to direct this unprecedented level of critical support to help the state effectively protect healthcare workers and first responders and save American lives.”
Governor Kevin Stitt praised President Trump in a statement.
“The President has been a consistent leader during the COVID-19 crisis, and I am thankful for his continued support as we actively work to respond to this outbreak and keep Oklahomans safe,” Stitt said.
A senior administration official said the administration has been working closely with state local leaders since January.
“This week we had our fifteen governor-only conference calls with 18 governors from ag states including Oklahoma with Vice President [Mike] Pence,” the source said.
Stitt has confirmed these calls during multiple press conferences over the last few weeks.
Stitt’s office has developed a Governor’s Solution Task
Force through the pandemic.
The group provides regular updates to both the media and public through Facebook Live and Zoom calls.
The source said the administration has been coordinating with governments on the local, state and tribal levels.
“It means local and tribal officials can drive [the response] locally and with innovation solutions,” they said.
Among these solutions being touted by the administration is Project Air Bridge.
It is a coordinated public-private partnership designed to expedite the movement of critical supplies from other countries to the United States.
The senior administration official said Project Air Bridge moved PPE supplies to the United States weeks or month sooner than they would normally arrive.
“This supplemented our supply chain management,” they said.
Statistics provided by the White House Communications Office detail deliveries of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Oklahoma during the week of April 18 to April 24.
- N-95 Masks 13,600
- Surgical Masks 179,500
- Eye/Face Shields 4,100
- Isolation & Surgical Gowns 66,200
- Surgical & Gloves 3,980,800
In addition to the Project Air Bridge efforts, as of April 27, FEMA delivered 132,626 N-95 masks, 315,447 surgical masks, 52,381 medical gowns, 1,902 coveralls, 63,947 face shields, and 279,304 gloves from the Strategic National Stockpile to Oklahoma, the communications office statistics showed.
The Strategic National Stockpile has been used to reinforce PPE supplies across Oklahoma as detailed in the April 9 issue of The Madill Record.
Some of these additional supplies made their way to Marshall County as Robert Chaney, the county’s
emergency manager detailed in the same article.
At that time, Chaney said PPE in the county was running low until last week.
“We were down to three days,” he said. “I’ve been ordering them for three weeks. What we got came from the strategic stockpile.”
The recently restarted the White House Council on Native American Affair, which will be led by Tyler Fish, who is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Muskogee (Creek) Nation.
“Under the leadership of Tyler, we’ve set up a COVID Tribal Group with multiply federal agencies including HHS and FEMA,” the senior administration official said.
“He knows those folks around the country and especially in Oklahoma.”
The federal government has taken other steps to address COVID-19 since President Trump declares a National Emergency on March 13.
First was Oklahoma’s Major Disaster Declaration, which was made April 3 after Oklahoma Governor Stitt submitted a major disaster declaration request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). President Trump approved the request on April 5.
Following bipartisan efforts in Congress, the president signed the CARES Act into law on April 24.
The senior administration official added that the US Department of Labor has worked with state unemployment agencies including the Oklahoma Unemployment Security Commission to award more than $10.9 million in emergency administrative unemployment insurance grants to the State of Oklahoma.