Governor Tate Reeves appeared on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ with Jake Tapper over the weekend to talk about COVID-19 in Mississippi, specifically regarding his decision to mandate masks in only select counties.
Reeves has rejected calls for a statewide mask mandate thus far, choosing instead to target 13 counties where the spread of the virus has increased substantially within a 7-14 day period.
Tapper asked Reeves about the limited mask mandate, comparing it to having “part of the pool that it’s OK to pee in.”
“It’s not at all like that,” the Governor said. “It’s not about the words you write on the page. It’s not about these words like mandate. It’s about how do you get the majority of your citizens to actually adhere to doing what’s right.”
The best way to do that, Reeves said, is to highlight those counties where it is most needed, adding that “compliance of wearing masks in the other 69 counties across my state is better today as well.”
“I believe this surgical approach is the best way to do that in Mississippi,” the Governor told Tapper.
Tapper offered an argument that some business owners want politicians to “do the brave thing” and mandate masks so they don’t have to themselves, like 36 other states have done. The CNN host asked Reeves, “If it saves lives, why not do it?”
Reeves said that if he thought it was the best way to save lives in his state he would do it, but said the right thing to do now is for Mississippians is what they are recommending, noting that all should wear masks, maintain social distancing, and not gather in large groups.