Oklahoma’s top public health officer resigned Friday, a day after Gov. Kevin Stitt criticized “rogue activists” at the state Department of Health for settling a federal lawsuit to allow a non-binary gender designation on state-issued birth certificates.

Dr. Lance Frye said it was an honor to lead the agency during its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In his resignation letter, he said it was time for him to move on as the state moves into an endemic phase of the COVID-19 response and away from a pandemic response.

“I admire the dedication, resilience and tenacity of the OSDH team,” Frye said in a statement Friday afternoon. “They have worked tirelessly over the last two years to ensure Oklahomans had access to not only COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and critical information, but to other life-saving services.”

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