Lankford guarantees “peaceful transition,” talks about COVID vaccine prospects

The Oklahoma Senator says Friday becomes the next important date, as the GSA can then start certifying the states' results

TULSA — Twin crises continue to create confusion for people across the country, as COVID-19 sets new records for hospitalizations and deaths, even as the presidential election continues to be unresolved in the minds of many.

Wednesday, KRMG spoke exclusively with US Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) for an update on how both of those crises are playing out at the nation’s capital.

HEAR KRMG IN-DEPTH: THE PODCAST | Our conversation with Sen. James Lankford

He said he wears a mask, and encourages others to do so, while waiting for a vaccine to be developed and distributed.

In fact, the senator anticipates multiple vaccines will likely become available in coming months, with the most advanced vaccine so far, developed by drug company Pfizer, the likely candidate to be distributed first.

He acknowledges the challenges involved with the Pfizer vaccine, including issues involving refrigerated storage, but says the federal government has already done much of the ground work.

“We’ve already purchased syringes, we’ve purchased the alcohol swabs, we’ve purchased the dry ice, got all that lined up that we’ll need for the actual shipping, distribution of this,” he told KRMG. “So that distribution network has already been planned in advance in how to be able to get that out.”

As for the presidential election, Lankford says it’s important that the voters who supported the GOP ticket, and the candidate himself, get answers to any questions they might have about the results.

“I can assure you there will be a peaceful transition of power in the United States...”

—  Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

“It is important for the 71-million plus people that voted for President Trump that at the end of it, they know all of their questions were answered," Lankford said, "and that there is a president that was actually duly elected.”

He admitted that despite a recount in Georgia, it’s unlikely that the projected results will get overturned, as recounts rarely change the outcome of elections in the United States.

And, he pointed out that the balance of the US Senate remains in doubt, as there will be two run-offs in Georgia - with the current Senate looking like a 50-48 split in favor of Republicans.

“If Joe Biden is elected, which is looks like he is, if he is elected as president, that means if it’s a 50-50 Senate, Kamala Harris is the one who breaks the tie,” Lankford told KRMG. “And so it determines whether Mitch McConnell or Chuck Schumer is the Majority Leader, who sets the directions of the committees, who takes up what bills.”

However the election turns out, though, Lankford says he’s confident the system will function as it always has, without violence.

“I can assure you there will be a peaceful transition of power in the United States,” Lankford said.



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