‘I have a very hard time with mandates’: Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma) on #COVID19
Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2021
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Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma) questions the effectiveness of coronavirus protocols during a telephone town hall on January 4, 2021.

"I have a very hard time with mandates," Mullin, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, told constituents from Oklahoma's 2nd congressional district.

According to Mullin, Oklahoma is doing better at slowing the spread of COVID-19 when compared to California, whose population is nearly 10 times as large. He said Oklahoma has managed to stay "open for business" while California has "shut down the state" with mask-wearing, stay-at-home orders and other directives.

"And yet they are not able to control it," Mullin said of California's approach.

"So, tell me which protocols [are] actually working here," Mullin said on the town hall.

American Indians and Alaska Natives in Oklahoma has been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus. According to the latest data from the Indian Health Service, 22.9 percent of coronavirus tests in the Oklahoma City Area have returned COVID-19 positive in the last 7 days.

The 7-day positivity rate for Oklahoma City Area, which includes the entire state of Oklahoma, is the highest in the IHS system. The region has been in the number one slot since January 1.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, American Indians and Alaska Natives represent 17 percent of the population in Oklahoma's 2nd congressional district. That's the largest percentage of any congressional district in the nation.

The Cherokee Nation is the largest tribe in the district. According to the Cherokee Nation Health Service, over 12,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 as of January 12. The caseload spiked during the recent holiday season, the tribe's data shows.