JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - In a press conference on Thursday, Gov. Tate Reeves said Mississippi would not participate in a nationwide lockdown if one is mandated by President-elect Joe Biden.
He said that while the election results have yet to be determined, the state would not shut down its economy again, even if mandated by the federal government.
“We are not going to participate in a nationwide lockdown,” he said, adding that closing the economy for six weeks would be “totally and completely beyond reasonableness.”
He went on to say that he hopes to work with the next president, whoever that is, in other ways to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Last week, NBC News projected that Biden had won the presidency, having collected 279 electorial votes, nine more than the required 270. Three states remain too close to call, while President Donald Trump is mounting legal campaigns to challenge the outcome in some swing states.
According to a Nov. 11 report from CNBC, members of Biden’s COVID-19 adivsory team say shutting down businesses for four to six weeks to help drive down the number of new cases.
Reeves, though, said the residents in the Magnolia State cannot shut down their restauarants, gyms or other businesses for the next six weeks, “come back and flip a switch, and everything will be fine," he said. “That’s not how the economy works.”
The governor also used his press conference to give an update on his family, days after his daughter tested positive for the coronavirus.
He said he and his wife, Elee, have continued to test negative for the virus, and revealed that Mississippi had 1,271 new cases reported Thursday. Wednesday, more than 1,250 tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, Reeves said he has signed an additional executive order, extending his previous Safe Recovery Order, and extending or implementing mask mandates for 15 counties.
The order was signed on Tuesday. However, Reeves did not announce it and canceled a press conference that day after finding out his youngest daughter was confirmed positive.
The governor’s comments come hours after State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs announced in a tweet that there are no ICU beds available in Jackson and very few available elsewhere.
During a virtual town hall Thursday, Dobbs urged Mississippians to social distance, wear masks and wash their hands in order to slow the spread of this virus.
Brandon High School will also be going virtual starting Friday, November 13. Students will return after the Thanksgiving holiday.
So far, 3,514 people have died from COVID-19 in Mississippi.