1 in 300 people in Mississippi have died from COVID-19 thus far

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 7:40 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi is still leading the nation with the highest rate for COVID deaths. Doctors say there’s a way to turn the tide moving forward.

Nearly 10,000 Mississippians have died of COVID since the pandemic started.

“Looking back, we can see clearly that there’s been unnecessary death and suffering and grief throughout the state,” said past-president of the Mississippi State Medical Association Dr. Mark Horne.

One in every 300 Mississippians have died from COVID. Some of those deaths were pre-vaccine availability. But many happened since.

“It’s not all older people, we see younger people,” added Dr. Horne. “So what it means is, there are some teenagers who aren’t going to graduate from high school, there are daughters and sons who are going to go to their weddings without their mom or their dad because they’re dead. In their 30s and 40s. And 50s.”

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs was recently asked what he thought the biggest factor was in the tragic death toll.

“I think that one of the most important things is not taking COVID seriously,” noted Dobbs. “You know, I think it’s one thing to have an honest debate. It’s another thing to deny reality. And we’ve had too many people deny reality because it’s inconvenient.”

Mississippi is one of only five states with fewer than 45% of the population vaccinated. And Dobbs says that tool remains an important piece of driving these high death rates down.

“We’ve lost too many, but we’ve saved a lot,” Dobbs said. “We just need to keep going forward. So we can still make sure we can save more lives.”

Dobbs points to a graphic of nursing home deaths as an example. Those deaths dropped off following mass vaccinations in those facilities.

He also brought up another factor he thinks contributed to the higher death toll, social media and misinformation. He says that was something they weren’t factoring in when they were estimating the impacts on the state early on.

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