Oklahoma governor names interim state health commissioner


Dr. Lance Frye, State Air Surgeon, Oklahoma Air National Guard, speaks during a news conference Thursday, May 14, 2020, in Oklahoma City. The reopening of Oklahoma businesses will continue Friday, May 15, 2020, with stand-alone bars, funerals, weddings and organized sports activities resuming. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma City (AP) — Gov. Kevin Stitt has named Oklahoma Air National Guard surgeon Col. Lance Frye as interim commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health as the state continues to reopen in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Frye, a medical doctor, replaces Gary Cox, whose nomination was never taken up by the state Senate after several senators expressed concerns that he lacks the qualifications to be state commissioner that include being a medical doctor or hold a master of science degree.

Because the appointment of Frye comes after May 1, he will remain interim commissioner until the next session of the Legislature that begins next year.

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