JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - We’re past the one year mark of dealing with COVID-19. And we’ve been checking back in with key players in the fight against the virus. Governor Tate Reeves is encouraged by the trends.
“I do believe that we’ve turned the corner,” explained Governor Reeves Thursday. “I think that we’re not at the end of the road, but we can see the end of the road. And when you start getting numbers down in the levels that were seeing, particularly with respect to hospitalizations.”
The Governor lifted most restrictions two weeks before he opened up vaccine eligibility to those 16 and older. We asked if he considered holding off till more were able to get their shots.
“We put that into our calculation,” he said. “Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that given where the appointments were, we were very near opening it up. At that point we had well over 50% of those over the age of 65 had gotten their vaccine. It was time.”
Reeves suggests that vaccine hesitancy is now less of a political or racial divide and more of an issue of urban versus rural. But what about the national conversation that more white Republican men were pushing back on getting the shot?
“A lot of them are working at least an 8 to 5 and a lot of times longer than that...,” noted Reeves. “So you’ve got to think of ways to continue to make it easier for those individuals.”
He says one way they plan to tackle that is by partnering with local hospitals to take the vaccines directly to them at work.
As for variants, Reeves thinks it’s is the latest buzzword... just as ventilator was at the onset of the spread.
“Now, a month from now we’ll certainly monitor it and if the numbers completely turn around we’ll make the necessary decisions at that time but I am not currently overly concerned about the variants that exist out there because I really think it’s just another… it’s the virus,” added Reeves. “It’s just a different strand.”
He continues to push back on some federal ideas like vaccine passports.
“I don’t think we should set and determine by federal government different classes of people,” said Reeves. “I don’t think we should have scarlet letters to put on you. But I think you ought to get a vaccine. I strongly encourage it.”