Mississippi governor: Waiting for two-week decline in cases 'just doesn't work in states like ours'

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) on Sunday defended the steps his state has taken to reopen its economy without meeting the White House guideline of two weeks of declining cases, saying each state's situation is different.

“You have to understand that Mississippi is different than New York and New Jersey,” Reeves said on “Fox News Sunday.” “What we have seen is for the last 35 to 40 days, we’ve been between 200 and 300 cases without a spike. Our hospital system is not stressed. We have less than 100 people in our state on ventilators.”

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Pressed by Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - California a coronavirus cautionary tale as it retrenches to stave off infections Battle over reopening schools heats up Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to reopening schools MORE on the two-week guideline as well as the spike in confirmed cases since the state announced the next phase of reopening, the governor responded, “Sometimes the models are just different for different states. ... We believe that particular gating criteria just doesn’t work in states like ours. We have never had more than 300 cases in any one day, with the exception of Friday in that data dump.”

Friday saw the largest single-day increase in cases in Mississippi thus far, with 397 new cases and 20 deaths. That prompted officials to temporarily pull back on plans to reopen.

“It was a one-day blip, but we wanted to make sure we investigated that data before we made a final decision, so we delayed,” Reeves told Wallace.

Reeves also blasted a vote by the GOP-controlled state legislature to restrict his authority to spend more than $1 billion in federal coronavirus aid.

“We have had a long-standing 40-year law in Mississippi which recognizes that in an emergency, you’ve got to have an executive,” he said. “We don’t have time for committee meetings. We don’t have time for committee hearings. We don’t have time for politicians to cut deals. ... I’m terribly disappointed in our legislative leadership.”