Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves was initially spared from the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic as states like New York, New Jersey and California were hit hard.

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But his state quickly vaulted to the top of the list of confirmed Covid-19 cases on a per capita basis, largely because of his mishandling of the pandemic.

Reeves directly countered may localities that were taking steps to curb the virus and declared a broad range of businesses and religious organizations exempt from restrictions.

He was forced to backtrack but reversed himself again causing widespread confusion about the state’s policy. Along the way he turned the state’s response into a political football, swearing Mississippi would never become China or North Korea.

As cases and death swelled in the state, he’s continued to take tepid steps. To date, the state has racked up 5,638 COVID-19 deaths and 257,000 cases.

Mississippi led all states for new cases of the coronavirus per capita, per day, before falling to seventh as COVID-19 cases surge elsewhere.

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