Mar 26, 2020 - Health

Mississippi governor says state won't be a dictatorship on coronavirus

Tate Reeves speaks to the press prior to the President Trump rally in Tupelo, Mississippi on November 1

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves speaks to the press in Tupelo, Mississippi. Photo: Rory Doyle for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said in a Twitter post Wednesday that he rejects "dictatorship models like China," a day after he signed an executive order in response to the novel coronavirus.

Details: Reeves' order Tuesday aims to limit people's physical interactions, but the Jackson Free Press notes it "seems to declare that most types of businesses in Mississippi are 'essential' and thus exempt from social-distancing requirements," including public and private industries and institutions. The move caused confusion as to whether it overrides stay-at-home orders issued by local authorities, Mississippi Today reports.

What he's saying: "We're following our experts and I’ve spent many sleepless nights praying for wisdom in this unprecedented time," Reeves tweeted.

Context: Reeves made the comments in response to a segment on "The Rachel Maddow Show" Tuesday on Mississippi not enacting a stay-at-home order, and a subsequent post of a video on MSNBC's website Tuesday, headlined: "Mississippi governor untroubled by COVID crises in neighboring states." Reeves called the report a "dangerous lie."

The big picture: Mississippi had confirmed 377 cases and five deaths from the virus Wednesday, per the state health department.

Go deeper: Coronavirus: The states that have ordered people to stay home

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