Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves announces his appointment to the Governor’s Gulf Coast Advisory Committee that will ultimately make recommendations for RESTORE Act Projects funding at Diamondhead City Hall in Diamondhead, Miss. on Thursday, August 12, 2021. (Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)

by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher

Thursday afternoon, August 12, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves gave an unforeseen statement at Diamondhead City Hall about the recent outbreak from the Delta variant of COVID-19; the global pandemic.  “Mississippians now have a pandemic of the unvaccinated, over 95% of all people going to the hospital now are unvaccinated,” stated the governor after extending his state-of-emergency order that gives public health officials and other government leaders some flexibility in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have seen the vaccine has proven to be effective, in not only keeping people from getting the virus, but also when they do get the virus, symptoms typically are less,” conveyed Governor Reeves to The Gazebo Gazette.

The governor’s morning announcement Thursday happened after Mississippi reported its largest single-day total of new COVID-19 cases, far exceeding a record set only two days earlier and indicating more challenges in coming days for already-strained hospitals.

“We now 95% of all people going to the hospital now are unvaccinated,” said Reeves.  “This is a virus and no government or elected official gets to control how and when the virus spreads, so we’re going to deal with the point we find ourselves in.”

This was the governor’s first media event in a few weeks that was initially supposed to be about his announcement of appointments to the Governor’s Gulf Coast Advisory Committee that would ultimately make recommendations to the governor for RESTORE Act Projects funding.

However, the Governor’s previous comments about the Center for Disease Control guidance and the adherence to these guidelines, which have been followed by the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) raised questions for the 65th Mississippi governor.

“First of all Hunter, what I said about CDC guidance; being foolish is 1000% correct and I stand by that, CDC has changed their guidance so often, it changes as much as many Mississippians change their underwear,” acknowledged Reeves to The Gazebo Gazette.  “It’s ridiculous and the reality is that if you are trying to encourage more people to get vaccinated, the worst thing that you could possibly do is to suggest that you are still going to have to do the same thing.”

Subsequently, in questioning vaccine incentives which have been offered by colleges and private sector job, Governor Reeves supported this from a private businesses. “I don’t think the government ought to be offering incentives, I think individuals ought to talk with their doctor and decide what is right for them, but if private sector employers want to offer incentives to their employees by all means offer that.”

His final stress was that people should not ridiculing one another based on their choice. “I don’t believe people should shame another person because they want or don’t want to wear a mask.  We ought to take the politics out of it and focus on doing what’s right for yourself and family.”

The new emergency order is set to expire in 30 days.  MSDH reported 4,412 new cases of the virus Thursday, a 26% increase over the 3,488 cases it reported in the state Tuesday.