WLBT-TV Jackson

Mixed reactions to Reeves’ comment that Mississippi would not participate in national lockdown

By Courtney Ann Jackson

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Governor Tate Reeves said Thursday that Mississippi would not participate in a nationwide lockdown if one was put in place.

Some of Mississippi’s Congressional delegation are standing by Governor Tate Reeves' position.

Senator Roger Wicker sent this statement. “I believe a nationwide mandatory lockdown would do more harm than good. The federal government has rightly delegated the coronavirus response to states, which know best how to manage outbreaks of the virus in their communities. I will continue to work to provide additional federal resources to help Mississippi endure this crisis.”

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith commenting that decisions should be made at the state level

“COVID-19 presents unique challenges, which aren’t often remedied by a single, one-size-fits all solution. Decisions such as shutdowns or mask mandates should be left to leaders at the state level. Governor Reeves, Dr. Dobbs and others are well-equipped to know what will work best for the people of Mississippi and implement appropriate policies.”

And Congressman Michael Guest echoing that “state-led responses work best."

So, what about the businesses the Governor says couldn’t survive another shutdown? Glenda Barner owns Sugar’s Place in Jackson.

“Every day we come down here and open that door, we take a chance on getting COVID-19,” admits Barner.

They’ve moved to takeout and outdoor dining since reopening after the earlier shutdown. But, ultimately, she says she’ll put health and safety over profits.

“If the time comes and it’s the safety of my family over this restaurant, the restaurant is gone,” added Barner.

Campbell’s Bakery and Campbell’s Craft Donuts owner Mitchell Moore also has mixed emotions about the Governor’s comments.

“He’s right on one hand," noted Moore. "The businesses won’t survive. We’re barely surviving now. Most people I know who are small business owners are really, really struggling now.”

But Moore says if the state’s not going to participate, he thinks there should broader actions taken.

“Anything that prevents people from taking the mitigation efforts seriously is harmful," said Moore. "So, not having a statewide mask mandate is harmful.”

He says they’re prepared to make rollbacks on their own if the numbers keep rising.

“We push tables even further apart," Moore explained. "We clean even more often, that type of thing. And so we’re doing what we have to do and if numbers continue to rise lacking state action, we’ll still take whatever action we need to protect our business and protect our customers.”