August 5, 2020
The Clarion-Ledger today posted a picture of Governor Reeves sporting a face mask – bright red, with MAGA printed on it in big, bold letters. That tells you all you need to know about the governor’s pandemic intentions and crisis management skills, doesn’t it?
Unable to ignore the avalanche of truly frightening data on coronavirus community spread throughout Mississippi (infection, hospitalizations, and deaths skyrocketing; the health system at the breaking point), Reeves finally issued a statewide mask mandate (something our beleaguered state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, has no doubt been pleading for for some time), but apparently felt compelled, at virtually the same moment, to genuflect before the cult of Trump – a form of impenetrable group-think that’s captured more Mississippi minds than Covid-19 has infected bodies.
Reeves’ message is as equivocal as it gets, if not outright disingenuous. “Yes, indeed, by all means wear a face mask to help defeat this terrible scourge,” the governor seems to be saying (wink-wink), “even President Trump has said we should, you know” (wink-wink), “he’s even been photographed wearing one, as I have now and then” (wink-wink).
Gov. Reeves evidently takes health science data, and the advice of epidemiological experts, just about as seriously as the president does, and is just about as compassionate as the president toward all the people (past, present, and future) suffering the epidemic’s ravages.