CNN‘s Jake Tapper Grilled Mississippi Gov. tate reeves (R) after being elected by the President on Sunday Joe Biden For his fierce resistance to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, even his state has the highest number of deaths per capita in the country.
Tapper began the interview by asking Reeves why he and the Mississippi state legislature were prepared to implement mandates for other vaccines, but not for the coronavirus.
In a speech on Thursday, Biden noted that Mississippi has strict requirements for vaccinating children against other diseases, such as measles and polio. “I propose a requirement for COVID vaccines, and the governor of that state calls it, quote, ‘a tyrannical-type move,’” Biden said.
“It is unique for children and their ability to attend our public schools. This is not a mandatory vaccine in the workplace,” Reeves insisted. “This is an attack by the president on the hardworking Americans and the hardworking Mississippi people, whom he wants to choose between getting a jab in his arm and their ability to feed their families.”
As part of his plan to increase vaccination amid cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the delta version of the virus, Biden earlier this month called on the Labor Department to require all businesses with 100 or more employees was instructed. Workers need vaccinations Or tested weekly for COVID-19.
As Reeves insisted that Biden had overstepped his authority in doing so, Tapper noted that the virus was spiraling out of control under Reeves’ leadership.
“In fact, if Mississippi was its own country, you would be second in the world after Peru in terms of deaths per capita,” Tapper said. “So with all due respect, Governor, your path is failing. Are you going to try to change anything to change this terrible statistic you’re already doing?”
Reeves did not answer the question, but argued on the figures, insisting that deaths were a “backward indicator” and noting that new case numbers were falling.
When asked by Tapper if he planned to make any changes to his strategy, Reeves asked people to talk to their doctors about vaccinations, saying, “We believe in individual responsibility.”
Only 42% of Mississippi people have been fully vaccinated, far below the national average.
“So you’re not going to change anything?” Tapper asked.
After several iterations of the question, Reeves again argued that the deaths are a “backward indicator”.
Mississippi has more than 473,000 reported COVID-19 cases and more than 9,200 deaths. New daily cases were reported last month, with about 5,000 new cases a day being reported in mid-August. That number has since fallen, with the seven-day average of new daily cases sitting at just over 1,800 as of Sunday.