South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) on Sunday accused health experts of "hyperbole" and "exaggeration" in regards to the current COVID-19 surge brought on by the more infectious delta variant.
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, McMaster affirmed to guest host Dana Perino that he would not be enacting a statewide mask mandate and when it came to vaccinations the governor said he would let residents "make their decision" based on information provided to them.
Perino noted that South Carolina has recently seen increases in the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, with cases rising by over 250 percent and hospitalizations rising by more than 120 percent.
"I think that the tone and the — I think of some exaggeration [is] going on, some hyperbole. Those figures that you just mentioned, yes the rates are going up but they're way below what they were a year ago," McMaster said. "We have put the fire out. It's smoldering in places and could come back up, but the house is not on fire again."
According to state data, 44.5 percent of South Carolina residents are fully vaccinated and 51 percent have received at least one dose.
"We're gonna trust the people to do the right thing, we're giving them the right information, but I believe a lot of our national experts are are engaging in frightening hyperbole," McMaster added.
"Talk to your friends, talk to your — talk to your doctor, talk to your preacher, talk to whomever you want to but we've had a good experience with the vaccine," McMaster said, adding that the "the vaccine works, but it's not for everybody."