Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said on Thursday that his state would not participate in a national lockdown should one be issued.
Reeves comments come after an adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called for a national lockdown to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The Republican governor asserted he would fight any national lockdown mandate issued by a President Biden during a Facebook live session updating Mississippians on the state’s coronavirus numbers, according to Mississippi’s Clarion Ledger.
“I’ve been asked that if the legal challenges that are currently being contemplated play out and the former vice president ultimately becomes the next president, then what is going to change? What I will tell you is, even based upon some of the things that I have heard and said from his campaign, I will tell you I don’t think much of anything’s gonna change with respect to the virus,” Reeves said.
“The fact is that we’re gonna try to work with whomever the president is, but we’re not gonna participate in a nation-wide lockdown. This notion that one of his advisers has said that all we really need is about a six-week national lockdown and we can slow down the spread of this virus is totally and completely beyond reasonableness,” the governor continued. “The people of Mississippi can’t just go home, shut down their small businesses, shut down their restaurants, shut down their gyms, shut down other small businesses for six weeks and just think that you can come back six weeks from now, flip a switch, and everything’s gonna be fine. That’s not the way the economy works.”
“We believe that while they may make recommendations, that in this country under the Stafford Act when you have emergencies – and this is clearly one of the longest lasting emergencies in American history – that those emergencies have to be state managed, locally executed, and federally supported. And so I don’t believe that there’s any constitutional or statutory authority for any president to shut down Mississippi’s economy,” Reeves said. “We will certainly fight that if it becomes necessary.”
Dr. Michael Osterholm, who Biden has named to his coronavirus task force, claimed on Wednesday during an interview with Yahoo News that the United States could “drive the numbers down,” referring to coronavirus numbers, if the country were to lock down for up to six weeks.
“We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers, for losses to small companies, to medium-sized companies, for city, states, county governments. We could do all that. If we did that, then we could lock down for four to six weeks, and if we did that, we could drive the numbers down,” Osterholm said.
One of Biden's new coronavirus task force doctors floating the idea of a 4-6 week lockdown:
“We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the lost wages for individual workers … if we did that, then we could lockdown for 4 to 6 weeks."pic.twitter.com/zNmuQvPpIJ
— Zack Guzmán (@zGuz) November 11, 2020