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Mississippi governor says he will fight national lockdown if Biden proposes one

Mississippi governor says he will fight national lockdown if Biden proposes one
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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said his state will not comply with a mandatory six-week national quarantine should President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Obama: Republican Party members believe 'white males are victims' MORE try to enforce one when he enters office.

“We’re not going to participate in a nation-wide lockdown,” Reeves said during a Facebook Live COVID-19 update on Thursday, citing a Biden adviser’s suggestion that a collective effort to quell the coronavirus for longer than a month could prove successful.

“We have a big pool of money out there that we could borrow. The historic low interest rates by the federal government, we could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers, for our losses to small companies to medium sized companies, for city states, county governments,” said Michael Osterholm, a top health adviser to Biden.

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Reeves rebuked the suggestion, dubbing it “totally and completely beyond reasonableness.”

The governor said his state would face financial hardship if it had to shut down for six weeks, and wouldn’t be able to resume business as usual post-lockdown.

"That’s not the way the economy works," he said.

Reeves stressed that while Biden may make recommendations regarding a COVID-19 lockdown, he doesn’t have the constitutional authority to force it upon states.

“We will certainly fight that if necessary," he added.

Mississippi's health department reported 1,271 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday along with 17 deaths, pushing the state's total number of cases since the pandemic began to more than 130,000 with over 3,500 deaths.

The state has also reported a growing number of hospitalizations related to COVID-19, with the health department tweeting Wednesday, "Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are on track toward the crisis level we saw this summer."

Reeves said that Mississippi will continue with its targeted county-by-county strategy instead of a statewide lockdown.