Gov. Tate Reeves of Mississippi on Sunday downplayed his state’s excessive Covid dying fee, calling it an insufficient benchmark to measure the pandemic’s toll within the state.
The state is among the many high three within the nation for Covid-19 deaths per capita, behind solely Florida and Alabama, in response to The New York Times database.
Simply 42 % of Mississippi’s residents are vaccinated, effectively beneath the nationwide common of 54 %, in response to The New York Occasions database. The variety of deaths elevated by 18 % within the final 14 days, bringing its complete to greater than 9,200 reported fatalities.
“Sadly, fatalities are a lagging indicator with regards to the virus,” Mr. Reeves stated on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Timing has as a lot to do with that statistic as anything.”
Mr. Reeves attributed the deaths to the presence of the more-contagious Delta variant, suggesting that present circumstances within the state are short-term. He additionally famous that new instances in Mississippi have been falling not too long ago.
Regardless of continued probing, Mr. Reeves refused to reply whether or not his state would take any extra measures. Mr. Reeves, who’s vaccinated, stated that vaccination is “the perfect factor Individuals can do to guard themselves in opposition to the virus.”
The governor critiqued the Biden administration’s plans to enforce a vaccine mandate for two-thirds of American employees.
“That is an assault by the president on onerous working Individuals, and onerous working Mississippians, who he desires to decide on between getting a jab of their arm — and their potential to feed their households,” Mr. Reeves stated.
Along with difficult the proposed mandate’s constitutionality, Mr. Reeves, who’s vaccinated, voiced issues over the authorized precedent it could set.
“This could scare Democrats simply as a lot because it scares Republicans,” he stated. “The actual fact is, if we give unilateral authority by one particular person to do something that he desires to do — whether or not it’s a jab within the arm or one thing else — then this nation is in deep, deep bother. That’s not one thing that I’m going to face by and let him do.”