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KSWO: Congressman Cole celebrates 50th anniversary of GPTC in Lawton

September 17, 2021
News Stories

KSWO - Will Hutchison

Congressman Tom Cole was in Lawton Friday for the 50th anniversary of the Great Plains Technology Center, an institution he said is great for the southwest Oklahoma community.

“The partnership is extraordinary plus I think it binds the community together,” Congressman Cole said. “This is a local institution, local people made the decision to tax themselves, they’ve taxed themselves again and again to expand and equip the facility. It’s a really strong statement of how southwest Oklahoma feels about itself and its future. It’s willing to invest in itself.”

Congressman Cole also addressed a recent hot topic of conversation: the Covid-19 vaccine and potential mandates to receive it.

I urge everybody to take the vaccine. I’ve taken it myself, my family has, most of my staff has, I’m a strong believer,” Congressman Cole said “I’ve been to a lot of hospitals and they are full of people who wish they’d have take the vaccine. We’ve had about 1000 people die in Oklahoma since July, the vaccine has been available since May to everyone. Almost all of those deaths were people who have not been vaccinated, over 95%.”

But, Congressman Cole said he doesn’t support a vaccine mandate.

“I think these are individual decisions and we should be working hard to persuade every Oklahoman to do this, it’s in their best interest,” Congressman Cole said. “But the minute you try to make people do something as opposed to persuade them to do the right thing, I think you change the subject and they resist being pushed around, that’s kind of our nature. Now, if individual employers want to do it in their businesses or individual school districts decide they want to do it with appropriate individual exceptions because parents have a different, then you do it that way.”

Congressman Cole said he expects it to be a busy fall in Washington. He said he hopes they will be able to finish work on the Armed Services Bill next week.

Online: KSWO