JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Gov. Tate Reeves said he’s not going to take marching orders from President Joe Biden when it comes to doing what’s best for Mississippians.
Reeves discussed the philosophical differences between himself and the Democratic president at a press conference Tuesday.
His comments come days after he called out the president on social media for wanting Mississippi to reinstate its mask mandate, even as COVID-19 numbers in the Magnolia State are going down.
“I believe that governors are much better positioned to make decisions for their states than anybody in Washington, D.C. will ever be,” he said. “The fact is the Biden administration believes … they truly believe in a central decision-making authority and believe that decision-making authority should be in Washington.”
He said the one-size-fits-all policy doesn’t work, because other states are seeing increases in COVID, while Mississippi’s numbers are dropping.
“I wish this administration would trust those governors to make decisions that are best for their constituents and let those of us here make the decisions that are best for our state, and that’s what we’re ultimately going to do.”
A month ago, Reeves massively scaled back COVID-19 protocols, including lifting the state’s mask mandates. The only mandates remaining in place limit capacity at indoor arenas to 50 percent and rules governing K-12 schools.
“There are those in Washington that want to talk about data and science when the numbers are going up and ignore the data and science when the numbers are going down,” he said. “We’re going to continue to do what we think’s best based on our data.”
Meanwhile, Reeves said he and other governors are calling on the Biden administration to change how the COVID-19 vaccines are shipped.
“We have been urging the Biden administration to encourage these partners that are manufacturing the vaccine to ship them in smaller numbers,” he said.
“If you’re in New York City and you’re sending a package to one of the large pharmacies in downtown Manhattan, there are literally millions and millions (of people) in walking distance of that pharmacy. If you’re in rural Itta Bena, that’s not the case.
“The rural areas need (packaging) that is a little bit less so we can utilize our small, rural clinics,” he said.
“That’s a request that has fallen on deaf ears so far, but we’re continually optimistic and hopeful that they will understand how important that is.”