August 3, 2020

Reeves’ tries to put blame for COVID spike on protests, but state’s top health expert disagrees

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Sunday that recent spikes in coronavirus cases are tied to protests, not community spread at social gatherings, but his statement flies in the face of the state’s top health expert and the state health department.

He wrote members of the media “completely ignore the fact that our uptick (and other states) began within days of massive protests all over – which they celebrated.”

But the Mississippi State Health Officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, had refuted that claim days earlier.

“We don’t have any evidence to that effect. Our investigations have not revealed any specific links to protests,” Dobbs said during a July 1 news conference, with Reeves in attendance.

The governor tried to clarify on Monday that his criticism of the media referenced national media, not necessarily local ones, even though his Sunday social media posts referenced Mississippi.

The governor reiterated his protest theory Monday during a Facebook Live video.

“There are those in the national media who would have you believe that that had absolutely no impact in the rising number of cases. I would submit to you that common sense says otherwise, and I think as we look back, we’ll be proven that that’s the case.”