Governor of State Leading Nation in Covid Death Rate Can’t Name a Thing He’d Do Differently
Reeves - Image Credit: CNN / Screencap
One in 320 Mississippi residents has died of Covid-19, making it the state with the highest rate of Covid deaths in the nation. But Governor Tate Reeves, who opposes President Biden's vaccination mandates, says he would not do anything different.
In an interview on the State of the Union, moderator Jake Tapper confronted Reeves, who previously described Biden, who prescribes vaccines for workers in companies with more than 100 employees, as "tyrannical" and in that interview as an "attack by the president" and an attempt called "changing the political narrative away from Afghanistan". Reeves has also refused to mandate masks in state schools, saying the CDC's masking guidelines are "foolish" and "harmful".
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"You call the step tyrannical," said Tapper. "Just so our viewers understand, President Biden says he's using an occupational safety act called the Occupational Health and Safety Act to justify the mandate." This law states that the government can issue an emergency order if it determines that "employees are at serious risk from exposure to substances or agents that have been classified as toxic or physically harmful, or from new hazards ..." I mean, if ever there was a reason to enforce this law, wouldn't it be during a pandemic that kills nearly two thousand Americans every day? "
"Well, again, over 9,000 Mississippi have died from Covid and every one of them breaks my heart," Reeves said. “It is a very difficult situation that we are in as Mississippi and we as Americans. But we also need to understand, as we look ahead, if this president has the ability to prescribe vaccines, what powers do we not give this president? What can he not do? And for my friends on the left, I just want to point out one thing. That should scare you too. "
Tapper then brought the conversation back to Reeves' handling of the pandemic in his own state. "If Mississippi were a country of its own, you'd be second in the world only after Peru in terms of per capita deaths," said Tapper. “That's a terrible, terrible, heartbreaking statistic. With all due respect, Governor, your path has failed. Are you going to try to change something to change this terrible statistic from what you are already doing? "
Reeves' response meandered as he said deaths were a "lagging indicator," wished the US Congress were "part-time" like the Mississippi Legislature, compared its state to the UK, and advised citizens to talk to their doctor about the vaccine and talk about treatment with monoclonal antibodies.
Tapper got frustrated and tried to get Reeves to answer his question, "I'm telling you your path isn't working, and whether you say it's a lagging indicator or whatever your argument is, Mississippi now has when it does." so would own land, the second worst per capita death rate in the world behind just Peru. And I say are you going to try to do something to change that? And I don't hear an answer. "
Reeves replied, “What I've been telling you repeatedly, Jake, is that Mississippi has taken action. We have seen our case numbers drop dramatically in the past two weeks. Ultimately, as I said earlier, unfortunately, deaths are a lagging indicator. "
It's worth noting that Mississippi lags far behind much of the United States in vaccination rates, with only 42 percent of the total population being fully vaccinated. Nationwide it is 54 percent.
The governor continued, “We have seen cases again cut in half in Mississippi. And you don't want to talk about those other states that you refuse to talk about, perhaps because they have democratic governors. But the reality is that you and the President and so many other people want to do this through politics. "
Reeves then absurdly claimed that by imposing vaccine mandates - because vaccines are the only proven way to contain this pandemic - Biden is not really trying to save lives, he is just on a power trip.
"The president is not focused on saving lives," Reeves said. “The president is focused on taking unilateral action to demonstrate his power, to show that he is doing something. But that won't solve things. "
If we vaccinate more of the US and the world, life will save. But while this was a pretty disastrous interview, Reeves at least didn't say what he said last month when he talked about why Covid rates were so high in the southern states: Because southerners are more likely to be Christian, they have "less Fear of dying.
"I am often asked about Covid by some of my friends across the aisle ... and why do people in Mississippi and perhaps the Middle South seem a little less afraid," Reeves said. "If you believe in eternal life - if you believe that life on this earth is only a spot on the screen, then you don't have to be so afraid."
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American political journalist, correspondent, author
65th Mississippi Governor
46th and current President of the United States
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