Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves on Sunday’s “State of the Union” program on CNN defended his state’s low vaccination rates — the lowest in the country — by citing the declining number of reported COVID-19 cases.
“At our peak, we had 2,400 cases per day over a seven-day period,” Reeves told Jake Tapper. “Over the last seven days, we’ve had barely 800 cases in total over those seven days.” It is true that Mississippi’s cases are dropping, but experts warn states with low vaccination rates that they could be vulnerable to new outbreaks. Just 34% of Mississippi residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the New York Times.
Reeves seemed to contradict himself, and Tapper called him on it, as he simultaneously encouraged people to get vaccinated, yet also argued that getting the vaccine is an individual choice.
Reeves also was asked about the Supreme Court expecting to hear arguments against Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. Reeves said that he believes, as a pro-life supporter, that the Supreme Court was wrong on Roe vs. Wade in the 1970s. He then said this:
Reeves’ comments are highly dubious. For example, a 2015 study by the New England Journal of Medicine of nearly 5,000 infants born before 27 weeks showed that none of the babies born before 22 weeks survived.
When Tapper questioned him about why Mississippi’s law doesn’t provide an exception for pregnancies caused by incest or rape, the governor avoided a direct answer and said this:
“What I’m telling everyone is we believe that abortions are murdering literally millions and millions and millions of Americans across many, many years and it’s a sad, sad state of affairs and we’re going to work very hard to make sure that when that baby becomes viable that it is treated as a human life because that is exactly what it is.”
Reeves’ remarks on abortion sparked immediate backlash on twitter, where more than a few people pointed out the hypocrisy of saying vaccines are “an individual decision” but supporting the government being able to tell a woman what to do about her body.