Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves had nothing but empty platitudes and attempts at distraction when asked about the terrible vaccination rates and deaths per capita in his state by CNN's Jake Tapper.
September 19, 2021

Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves had nothing but empty platitudes and attempts at distraction when asked about the terrible vaccination rates and deaths per capita in his state by CNN's Jake Tapper. Reeves made an appearance on this Sunday's State of the Union, and was asked about President Biden's vaccine mandate, and why his state was willing to impose similar mandates for other diseases, but not for COVID.

Reeves called the mandate an "attack on hardworking Americans, and lied that Biden doesn't have the authority to do what he did, calling it a distraction from Afghanistan. After Tapper reminded him that the virus has killed over 600,000 Americans and that the law says he can use OSHA to impose the mandate, he asked Reeves "if there ever were a reason to use this law, wouldn't it be during a pandemic, with almost 2,000 Americans dying every day?"

Reeves responded by fearmongering over whether this might be presidential overreach and stating that he wants to see the actual language of the mandate before responding further.

Tapper then proceeded to grill Reeves over and over again about what he and the legislature in Mississippi is doing to help get the pandemic under control given the fact that Mississippi this week became the state with the worst number of coronavirus deaths per capita.

TAPPER: In fact, if Mississippi were its own country, you would be second in the world, only to Peru, in terms of deaths per capita. That's a horrible, horrible, heartbreaking statistic.

So, with all due respect, Governor, your way is failing. Are you going to try to change anything to change this horrible statistic from what you're doing already?

Reeves then proceeded to try to blame the problems on having a part time legislature, tried to compare what's happened in his state and other southern states to surges in Israel, and called the number of deaths "a lagging indicator when it comes to the virus," whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.

Tapper again asked him if he was going to change anything, and round and round they went. After being asked again what he would be willing to change, Reeves gave this pathetic response:

REEVES The best way that Americans -- the best way -- the best thing for Americans to do to protect themselves from the virus -- and, again, we believe in personal responsibility.

Individual Americans and individual Mississippians...

TAPPER: So, you're not going to change anything?

REEVES ... can take -- make those decisions to take care of themselves.

The best thing that Americans can do, number one is to talk to their doctor about potentially getting the vaccine because...

TAPPER: Right.

REEVES ... in our state, some 89 percent of those hospitalized and some 87 percent of those who are of the deaths are actually coming from those who were unvaccinated.

So, the number one thing that you can do is you can get -- you can talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated.

TAPPER: Right.

REEVES: The number two thing is if you get the virus -- and this is very important -- if you get the virus, please talk to your doctor about the monoclonal...

TAPPER: So you're not doing anything?

REEVES ... antibody treatment.

TAPPER: You're not going to change anything?

REEVES: That is the best way in which to do that.

And, unfortunately, the Biden administration continues to try to reduce the allocations of the red states like Mississippi and Florida of that monoclonal antibody treatment.

TAPPER: OK, Governor.

REEVES: It's outrageous.

TAPPER: Governor, if Mississippi were a country, you would have the second worst per capita death toll in the world.

And I'm saying, are you going to do anything to try to change that?

REEVES: Jake, as I mentioned earlier, deaths, unfortunately, are a lagging indicator.

Our total number of cases went from 100 to 3, 600 and, over the last two weeks, has declined. They have been cut in half from 3, 600 to 1, 800.

When you wanted me to come on...

TAPPER: So you think it -- so you think this is successful?

REEVES ... three or four weeks, you wanted to talk about our number of cases. And then you want to talk about our hospitalizations. Now you want to talk about a lagging indicator, which is sad.

And -- and it's true.

TAPPER: I'm trying to talk about the dead in Mississippi, is what I'm trying to talk about.

REEVES: And I -- my heart breaks for all 9,000 Mississippians that have passed away.

But let's put this in perspective, Jake. I mean the reality is, Mississippi accounts for 1 percent of the U.S. population. We account for 1.1 percent of the total number of cases in America. And we account for 1.29 percent of the total number of fatalities in America.

Reeves then tried to deflect and start talking about deaths in other states, but Tapper held his feet to the fire and told him he was asking him about his state, not what's happening in other parts of the country. After Tapper again grilled him on what he would be willing to change, Reeves attacked Tapper and told him "the reality is that you and the president and so many other people want to make this about politics."

So when you're backed into a corner, attack and accuse the person asking questions of doing exactly what you've been doing, except the game Reeves has been playing has had deadly consequences. This is what it looks like when you try defend the indefensible. Pathetic.

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