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WATCH: Mississippi Governor Tries To Dodge Questions On COVID-19 Death Rate In His State

“When you wanted me to come on, you wanted to talk about the number of cases. Then you wanted to talk about our hospitalizations. Now you want to talk about [deaths]. It’s sad,” Governor Tate Reeves, of Mississippi complains.

[Photo by ROGELIO V. SOLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

He’s apparently unhappy that when he appeared on CNN to discuss the COVID-19 situation in his state, host Jake Tapper tried to discuss with him exactly that. In the clips below, he accuses President Biden of pushing vaccine mandates only to distract from the situation in Afghanistan, points to other states that have had serious surges in COVID-19 infections, and finally insists that deaths are not a good indicator of the current situation.

Finally, Reeves seems to get annoyed at Tapper for insisting on discussing the death rate — “If Mississippi were a country, [it] would have the 2nd worst per capita death toll in the world.”

He describes daeths as a “lagging indicator” — that is, if the surge in cases is over, the surge in deaths could continue for a few weeks beyond — but refuses to address any actions that might be taken to ensure that his state’s resurgence in cases (and deaths) does come to an end.

“But let’s put this in perspective, Jake. I mean, the reality is Mississippi accounts for 1% of the U.S. population, we account for 1.1% of the total number of cases, and we account for 1.29% of the total number of fatalities in America…If you want to talk about cases right now, talk about Kentucky, West Virginia, or what’s happening in North Carolina.”

He’s right that all these states are suffering — according to Becker’s Hospital Review, as of Friday, Kentucky was at 0.76 deaths per 100k people, West Virginia was at 0.99 per 100k, and North Carolina had seen 0.71 deaths per 100k. Mississippi — which was still trailing behind Florida at that time — was at 1.42 deaths per 100k people, making its COVID-19 death rate 1.5-2 times as high as any of the states Reeves named.



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