Red state governors are going to be a problem for supporters of nationwide shutdown: ‘We will certainly fight that’

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves slammed a proposal by a member of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board after he suggested shutting the country down again for four to six weeks as coronavirus cases spike in several states.

University of Minnesota infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Osterholm recommended the shutdown earlier this week while also saying Congress should provide for workers’ lost wages for the period, without providing any cost estimates.

“We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers, for losses to small companies, to medium-sized companies or city, state, county governments. We could do all of that,” he said. “If we did that, then we could lockdown for four to six weeks.”

But Reeves said in response to Osterholm’s comments he isn’t going to subject his state to another sustained lockdown period, calling it “totally and completely beyond reasonableness.”

“The people of Mississippi can’t just go home and shut down their small businesses … for six weeks, and just think that you can come back six weeks from now, flip a switch and everything’s gonna be fine,” the governor said in a Facebook live video on Thursday.

“I don’t believe there is any constitutional or statutory authority for any president to shut down Mississippi’s economy,” he said. “We will certainly fight that if it becomes necessary.”

He’s not likely to be alone.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was a standout among state leaders early on when she took a stance against locking down her state. In April she told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that “South Dakota is not New York City,” adding she had “all the faith in the world in the people of South Dakota.”

“I believe in our freedoms and liberties. What I’ve seen across the country is so many people give up their liberties for just a little bit of security and they don’t have to do that,” she said.

And last month, even as coronavirus cases rose in her state, Noem dismissed lockdowns as “useless.”

During a special legislative session, Noem read a portion of a letter she said she received from a reporter who praised her for keeping true to her beliefs.

“As you all might imagine, these last seven months have been quite lonely at times,” Noem said. ”But earlier this week, one very prominent national reporter sent me a note that said, ‘Governor, if you hadn’t stood against lockdowns, we’d have no proof of just how useless they really have been.’”

Also, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he would not consider enacting another strict lockdown regime in the Sunshine State.

“We will never do any of these lockdowns again, and I hear people say they’ll shut down the country, and honestly I cringe,” he said in August.

And on Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, dismissed the need for another national lockdown.

“We would like to stay away from that because there’s no appetite for locking down the American public,” he said, according to Townhall.

“You don’t necessarily have to shut everything down. The best opposite strategy to locking down is to intensify the public health measures. If you can do that well, you don’t have to take that step [lockdown]… which has so many implications both psychologically and economically,” Fauci added.

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Jon Dougherty

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