According to Mississippi governor Tate Reeves, many of his fellow Southerners' resistance to the Covid-19 pandemic is affected by their Christian beliefs.
Reeves made an appearance at a fundraiser on August 26 at the home of Shelby County Election Commission Chairman Brent Taylor. During a speech to his fellow Republicans, Reeves noted that he believes their faith affects the resistance to the Covid-19 vaccination drive. "When you believe in eternal life - when you believe that living on this earth is but a blip on the screen, then you don't have to be so scared of things."
This explanation was not enough reason to avoid obeying the regulations, said Reeves. "God also tells us to take necessary precautions. And we all have opportunities and abilities to do that, and we should all do that. I encourage everyone to do so. But the reality is that by working together, we can get beyond this. We can move forward. We can move on."
Reeves would also attack recently passed CDC guidelines on the Delta Variant as "not rational science."
The state of Mississippi has had a consistent struggle getting residents vaccinated. Current data estimate that only 37 percent of Mississippi residents have been fully vaccinated.
Reeves has had some controversies to deal with regarding Covid-related controversies. The MS governor had established a mask mandate for Mississippi schools in summer 2020 but has not renewed said vaccine since.
Instead, the governor left the decision to individual districts. As of August 2021, most Mississippi school districts require students to wear masks.