December 4, 2020

Mississippi governor criticized for apparently not wearing mask at Trump speech

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves was reportedly photographed without a face mask Thursday night in a closely packed crowd at President Donald Trump’s Republican Party nomination acceptance speech in Washington, D.C.

The images of the maskless Reeves are drawing heavy criticism by Mississippians who both oppose Mississipi’s mask mandate put in place by Reeves to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus as well as critics who seem to be riled at his hypocrisy of his asking Mississippians to wear masks, but doesn’t personally follow his own advice.

To add insult to injury, Reeves and his wife Elee posted a self-portrait of themselves on social media earlier in the evening each wearing pro-Trump campaign masks.

“Honored to represent Mississippi and join President Trump at the White House for his big RNC address! Mississippi is proud of our president!” Reeves’ post read.

Most of the people visible in the background of that image did not have on face masks.

Soon after that image was shared, other images purporting to show Reeves on at least a couple of occasions not wearing a mask were widely shared on social media. The authenticity of the photos has not been verified, but they appear to show someone who looks like Reeves at the Trump speech.

One of the people who shared images was former Mississippi representative and one of Reeves’ GOP rivals for the governor’s office, Robert Foster.

Reeves has an executive order in place in Mississippi limiting crowd sizes and requiring masks when social distancing is not possible. National media outlets reported that chairs at Thursday night’s speech were mere inches apart from one another, not the 6-feet generally considered the minimum for proper social distancing.

He drew fire earlier this month after appearing at a North Carolina campaign rally for a local candidate in which no one in the room wore a mask.