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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Why it matters: Of the 20 U.S. metro areas with the highest daily case growth, nine are in Florida. The state health department announced 132 new deaths yesterday, the most the state has seen since the pandemic began.

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Alabama's Republican Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statewide mask mandate on Wednesday as coronavirus cases continued to soar across the South, saying at a press conference: "We're pleading with the people of Alabama to wear a mask."

The big picture: Alabama is now the 25th state, in addition to the District of Columbia, that has issued some form of mask mandate as new infections surge across the country.

Coronavirus leaves ICU beds in Arizona nearly full

A patient is taken from an ambulance to the emergency room of a hospital in the Navajo Nation town of Tuba City, Ariz. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

Coronavirus illness in Arizona has caused a new peak in hospitalizations and emergency room visits on Friday with intensive care units at 91% capacity, the Arizona Department of Health Services reports.

Why it matters: Nearly 25% of coronavirus tests in the state came back positive Thursday. Total hospitalizations in Arizona for COVID-19 surpassed 3,000 for the first time.