Gov. Tate Reeves: ‘One-Size-Fits-All Approach’ for Coronavirus Won’t Work for Mississippi
Gov. Tate Reeves (R-MS) told Breitbart News that Mississippi’s response to the coronavirus outbreak is “surgical,” allowing for varying local responses determined by changing circumstances. A “one-size-fits-all approach” would be ineffective in the Magnolia State, he said.
“President Trump [and] Vice President Pence have been very clear that they want to address this disaster in the same way that the FEMA addresses every disaster. And that is, it could be locally executed, state-managed, and federally supported,” Reeves said in an interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday with host Joel Pollak.
Reeves added, “That is the approach that we have taken in this disaster. We have been more reluctant than some other states to enter statewide stay-at-home orders or quarantine statewide.”
Varying conditions between and within states regarding the coronavirus’s spread should determine commensurate responses, Reeves determined, contrasting circumstances in his state with New York.
Reeves observed different conditions across Mississippi regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
“If you look at what’s happening on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Hancock and Pearl River County, it’s very different than what’s happening in the far northeast corner of our state, which is almost 400 miles away,” Reeves stated. “In Tishomingo County where the tornado hit, there’s not one confirmed case … and so a one-size-fits-all approach does not work.”
Economic consequences of statewide orders to shut down businesses could be more damaging to public health than the coronavirus, noted Reeves.
“The long-term public health concerns caused by abject poverty could lead to a bigger public health concern in the short-term challenges of the coronavirus,” said Reeves, explaining why he opted against issuing statewide stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders.
Such statewide shutdowns could result in 25 to 35 percent unemployment in his state, warned Reeves.
Reeves remarked, “What we’ve done is try to take a very surgical approach in looking at the various other countries and how they dealt with it. We’ve looked at Singapore, for instance, and that is the model that we are looking at implementing.”
Reeves and his state’s health officer are considering the use of shelter-in-place orders for some of his state’s jurisdictions with “significant spikes” of coronavirus infections.
“We want to quarantine [and] isolate those who have it and and make sure they get good medical care, but also we want to quarantine those that we identify that have come in contact with those who have actually had it. We believe that is a much better approach to slow down the spread of the virus to protect Mississippians and then and provide the case management that is needed to ensure that we get a hold of this thing,” said Reeves.