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Stephens Co. Sheriff’s Facebook post opposing vaccine mandate goes viral

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 7:05 PM CDT
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DUNCAN, Okla. (KSWO) - A post from the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office opposing vaccine mandates is circulating on Facebook.

This comes as Duncan Regional Hospital sees a rise in COVID hospitalizations.

The letter comes from Sheriff Wayne McKinney who said it’s all about constitutional rights. The post has more than 15,000 shares, with many people commenting to thank him.

In the letter, McKinney declares that as long as he’s the sheriff, his employees will never be required to get the vaccine.

“When you start mandating things such as a vaccine to adults in this country throughout the entire population, you’re treading on violating our constitution and the constitutional rights that each and every one of us have,” McKinney said.

He’s not concerned about Governor Kevin Stitt or the Stephens County Commissioners mandating the vaccine for county employees.

McKinney wants to make it clear: he’s not pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine. He said he’s “pro-freedom.”

“They deserve the right to make those type of choices,” McKinney said. “Now, there’s certain choices that we have to make for them, but it’s never a big one, such as wearing bulletproof vests, wearing your protection when you’re out doing your job. Yes, I mandate that to my deputies, but it’s not putting a substance into your body.”

Just a few miles away at Duncan Regional Hospital, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Kristen Webb said for the first time since the winter surge, they’re seeing more COVID patients.

In fact, Stephens County ranked on a New York Times list, updated this morning, among the top ten counties in the country with the most cases per 100,000 residents in the last week.

Webb: “It’s very difficult to support them, and then to see otherwise healthy individuals end up on a ventilator and dying. That’s very tough. In healthcare, we’re used to dying, but most of the time it’s not - it comes in the occasional shift. Not every shift.”

According to Webb, it’s a pandemic of the unvaccinated and Duncan Regional will continue to encourage as many people as possible to get it.

“Vaccination is the key to alleviating the severity of illness and in many cases preventing illness,” Webb said. “Those that end up in the hospital, by and large, we have very few that are vaccinated and the few that do end up in the hospital that have been fully vaccinated, they do very well.”

McKinney said he’s not alone in this.

Several other sheriffs have made similar statements, including the Logan County sheriff.

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