CNN's Jake Tapper pressed Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves on his callous decision to put the lives of his constituents at risk by lifting the mask mandate in his state. Republicans claim to love "freedom," but not so much when it comes to a woman controlling her own reproductive rights. When it comes to the "freedom" to make your fellow Americans sick, thought? Well, that's just a-okay in their book.
Tapper asked Reeves about the study just released from the CDC, which said that areas with no mask mandates or dining restrictions experience increased rates of infection and death, and the fact that his decision will lead to people unnecessarily getting sick and dying.
Reeves responded that they are following the science and the data, citing decreasing case numbers in his state as somehow being proof that the decision was warranted.
Tapper pushed back, telling Reeves that no one is saying he should ignore the data, but pointing out that back in September "when cases were roughly the same level they are now, you lifted Mississippi's statewide mask mandate then, and relaxed social distancing requirements then."
"At the time, you said -- quote -- 'It was a very turbulent summer, but we have come out on the other side.' But then cases began to rise again. And you ultimately went through an even worse surge over the winter. More than 3,000 Mississippians lost their lives during that time."
"We know more people are likely to get sick and die without mask mandates," Tapper continued. "That's what the science says. Why is this a trade-off you're willing to make, given the fact that we have really been here before?"
Reeves told Tapper that his state's approach has been "to not only protect lives, but to also protect livelihoods," again citing falling case numbers as justification for his decision.
Tapper again pressed Reeves on whether it was a good idea to lift the mask mandate, and asked if he would recommend people wear masks, even if he's not mandating it.
Reeves said he not only recommends it, but encourages it, knowing full well if masks aren't mandated you're going to have a very hard time getting people to wear them.
These Republicans care about one thing: profit over people, which means forcing people back into the workplace whether it's safe or not, public health and lives lost be damned.
They're also still beholden to the cult of Trump, where wearing a mask is some sort of a sign of weakness, as is caring for your fellow human beings.