During a White House roundtable Monday, Vice President Mike Pence claimed that Oklahoma - where President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally Saturday - has seen a decline in the number of coronavirus cases.
“In a very real sense they’ve flattened the curve,” Pence said of Oklahoma. “The number of cases in Oklahoma has declined precipitously.”
Facts First: Oklahoma’s number of newly reported positive cases has been increasing since late May, not steeply declining.
In its latest weekly report, the OSDH says that over the past two weeks Oklahoma has begun experiencing “an increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19” and the “threat of COVID still exists and we anticipate it to grow.” OSDH reported a 12.9% increase in the number of new cases during June 5-11 compared to the previous week, which saw an 8% increase from the week before.
Tulsa– where Trump is set to give his first 2020 rally since March 2 – also saw a record high of 89 new cases Sunday, according to the Tulsa Health Department. And the city’s 7-day rolling average of new cases has been steadily increasing since May 31.
Tulsa Health Department’s director Bruce Dart told the local newspaper, Tulsa World, on Saturday that the city is undergoing a “significant increase in our case trends” and warned of Trump holding the scheduled rally. “COVID is here in Tulsa, it is transmitting very efficiently,” Dart told the paper. “I wish we could postpone this to a time when the virus isn’t as large a concern as it is today.”
With 1,222 total confirmed cases, Tulsa currently ranks second to Oklahoma City, which has 1,331 cases, for the city with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state.
When reached for comment, Pence’s office pointed us to an interview Monday between Tulsa World and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt. In the interview, Stitt said “there are less than 1,000 active cases right now” and argued that “we are in really, really good shape from a health care perspective in the state of Oklahoma” noting that 150 people are currently hospitalized in the state for the virus.
But Oklahoma has seen an increase in new cases over the past two weeks – along with the highest recorded cases in a single day – when the number of tests given decreased. Regardless of the