Mississippi governor said earlier approach in not issuing statewide mandates was tough, but necessary

Published 5:53 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said he delayed issuing a statewide mask mandate until Tuesday because he felt many people would not have adhered to the mandate until now.

“There are those that believe, and in many instances, they come from a legitimate place, they believe that when government says jump, 100 percent of the citizens say ‘how high?’ but that’s not how it works in the real world,” Reeves said Tuesday. “That’s now how it works in the real world.

“If I thought five weeks ago when I issued my first mask mandate for at the time I believe it was 13 counties that a larger percentage of Mississippians would wear a mask for months and months and months on end, if I just did it, then I would have done it.

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“That would have been the easy thing to do.”

Reeves said his choice in choosing to selectively issue mask mandates earlier was more difficult, but that he felt it was the right approach.

“I can tell you poring over data all night long every night and making decisions based on what the data says and saying picking this county and that county, the piecemail approach is a lot harder than just saying statewide here’s what we’re going to do, I hope y’all do it and knowing that’s not going to be the case,” he said.

“The reality is we are dealing with a scenario in which when we write the words on the page we need to do it in such a way where there is trust and confidence by the people of our state that we are doing it for the right reasons so they can maximize participation in our mandates.”