House of Representatives

STATEMENT: Rep. Sean Roberts on COVID-19


3/16/2020 12:57:00 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Sean Roberts
Phone: (405) 557-7322

Rep. Sean Roberts (R-Hominy) today released the following statement regarding COVID-19:

“Constituents and members of the media,

The threat of coronavirus is quite real. The next several weeks are paramount in determining the impact this virus has on our communities. Awful national tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina have shown us what happens when government fails to aggressively act preemptively. We have a chance to change our trajectory.  We must mitigate the impact and realize that this virus impacts all age groups. It is important that we fight this virus with an ‘Oklahoma Strong’ mentality. We must all work together to protect our seniors, high risk patients, and our healthcare providers. Even if you, as an individual, are not classified in a high risk sector for the coronavirus, if necessary precautions are not taken, you are potentially putting our senior citizens, high risk patients and healthcare providers at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

The deaths, hospitalization rates and effects that coronavirus have had on European countries, as well as China and South Korea, show that this is extremely far from just being the flu. It took an extreme, mandated quarantine for China to even limit its mortality rate to 5%. That level of quarantine is incompatible with our culture. That Europe has seen young people hospitalized with grave damage, and in large significant percentages, should give us extreme concern as to the risk this invisible enemy poses.

As Chairman of the House Public Health Committee, I implore our citizens to actively limit their exposure. This would include looking at keeping their families safe, be it their child going to school virtually or telecommuting to work. Wherever possible, I encourage families to look at options where they can stay home and limit their exposure. This limits them to risk from both people displaying symptoms, as well as those who do not yet qualify to test for the virus but may be actively spreading the disease. 

We see this storm front on the horizon. The impact of this disease, if looking at infection rates and mortality rates seen in other countries, shows that this can be the most threatening enemy to our society in living memory. Action absolutely MUST be taken, and NOW. Even a low estimate of a 2% mortality rate and a cursory discussed British infection rate translates to thousands of Oklahomans dying in the next 12 months due to coronavirus. We must stand together as a community and limit our exposure to protect not only ourselves, but also our neighbors and to hopefully get ahead of this virus before it is too late and we are simply reacting to it.”