Thursday, Oklahoma House Representative Sean Roberts (R-Hominy) issued a statement announcing that he has started to gather the required signatures needed to call a special session of the legislature. The statement opens with Roberts stating that the reason for the special session is to “address issues related to COVID-19 that are a matter of statewide concern and affect public health and safety.”.
In today’s release, which was exclusively given to Ignite Liberty, Roberts emphasizes the importance of choice along with how much the healthcare workers have already sacrificed for the state, saying:
“These employees are the heroes that stood on the front line of the pandemic caring for those that had fallen ill to COVID-19. I have received numerous reports of healthcare worker’s medical and religious exceptions being denied. All options are on the table to protect individuals from mandatory vaccinations, including removing tax incentives from those that require vaccines of their employees.
“This issue requires the immediate attention of our state government,”
This release from Roberts comes after multiple legislators sent the Governor’s Office letters in July requesting that he issue an executive order banning vaccine mandates or call a special session for the legislators to discuss it. Senator Hamilton was among the legislators who sent Governor Stitt a letter in July addressing the vaccination mandates in Oklahoma’s hospitals, saying:
“Informed consent is non-negotiable, ‘consent’ being the keyword. For [many] health care professionals, the hospital-mandated deadline is September 1st. Many, faced with the threat of financial ruin have already violated their consciences and put their health at severe risk in order to provide for their families.”.
Following the release of the letter, Ignite Liberty contacted Rep. Roberts for comment, who clarified the reason behind the attempt for a special session, saying:
“The purpose of this special session is not to take people’s rights away or to add any government regulation, the purpose of this special session is to protect the inherent God given and natural rights of the individual.”
It appears that the language of the letter leaves the topic of the special session vague, which would allow Democrat Representatives the ability to bring forth their COVID-19 issues and concerns. Roberts will need to acquire two-thirds membership of both the House and the Senate to agree to a special session. At this time, the special session will convene on August 30th at noon, one day before many vaccination deadlines.
You can find the full text of the press release here:
Since July, Ignite Liberty has continually covered the evolving situations in Oklahoma’s healthcare institutions, along with the activity in the state legislature regarding healthcare industries mandating the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment. Over the last several weeks, dozens of Oklahomans who fear losing their jobs if they refuse to take the jab have contacted Ignite Liberty.
As of today, all COVID-19 vaccines are still under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), and the FDA still has not fully authorized them for use. Despite the fact that Oklahoma has 3 exemptions (religious, medical, moral) to getting any vaccine written into law, multiple reports from various hospitals in Oklahoma City Area have denied these requests.
Due to this, the Oklahoma GOP and Senator Hamilton will be hosting a Freedom Rally this weekend, where the primary focus will be healthcare workers’ rights. Ignite Liberty will be there to report on the rally for those who cannot attend.
Ignite Liberty will continue to monitor the signature-gathering process as the legislators attempt to gain the necessary support for the special session.
– Jonathan Hewitt