Mississippi lawmakers weigh in on state’s response to COVID-19

So far, 133,309 have tested positive for COVID-19 in Mississippi.
Updated: Nov. 15, 2020 at 10:42 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The coronavirus continues to surge across the country, and Mississippi is no exception with 969 new cases and 3 new deaths reported on Sunday.

The state’s total now sits at 133,309.

So far, more than 3,543 people have died from COVID-19 in Mississippi.

When it comes to the state’s response to the pandemic, District 66 State Representative De’Keither Stamps said Mississippi is failing.

"The cases are still increasing so I would give us a D or F,” said Stamps.

Stamps believes the state needs to consider a new approach to tackling this pandemic.

"What we need to do is more testing, segregate those who test positive and get them the help they need, and continue to test,” the state representative said.

The Democratic lawmaker also said the state needs to build more hospitals since there’s currently a shortage of beds available in multiple counties.

"Right now, God help you if you have a stroke, a heart attack, car accident, God help you right now, said Stamps. "We need to build more hospitals, and that’s one thing the state can do to help in this issue, along with proper and effective leadership to make sure that we make good decisions and educate people on the severity of the situation.”

However, District 52 Senator Brice Wiggins doesn’t see it that way.

“I think overall the state of Mississippi has done about as good as you can probably do,” said Wiggins.

The Republican senator said some of the things the state has done well during this pandemic is issue executive orders on social gatherings and mask mandates, which currently apply to 15 counties.

“Being what I would call strategic in shutting down and making the mask mandates and all," the senator said. "There are times when you need a mask mandate, and I don’t argue with the governor. In my own county, Jackson County, that mandate is there.”

Wiggins believes the state is doing its part to get a handle on the COVID crisis.

He said the biggest problem he’s seeing is people not following the guidelines in place.

“We can rail against the government all we want, but at the end of the day it comes back to us,” said Wiggins. "I think the governor and his team are working hard to make the right calls to balance the economy and safety, but we have to be responsible as individuals.”

According to the Mississippi Department of Health, Hinds County has the most COVID-19 cases and deaths.

An estimated 114,430 people have recovered from the virus.

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