Stay up-to-date on what’s in the news with the Y’all Politics Daily Roundup.
YP – Reeves holds press conference on state’s response to COVID-19
Governor Reeves addressed the current state of the pandemic in Mississippi and what officials and hospitals are doing to combat the reality of the skyrocketing numbers.
During last weeks press conference, Reeves was asked seven times why he would not initiate a statewide mask mandate. He continued along his rhetoric that it is up to the individual, business or school to make those decisions.
YP – Why vaccine messaging from public health officials and media isn’t connecting with so many Mississippians
The COVID pandemic has laid bare the utter collapse of public trust of those in the mainstream media and many in the public health establishment. For something that is as generally mathematically sound as the COVID vaccine is in terms of effectiveness and safety, there is a huge swath of Mississippi and America that is saying “no thank you” because they fundamentally don’t trust the voices delivering the messages.
In this case that doesn’t mean they’re wrong, but it is critical to understand why they’re thinking what they’re thinking. It’s the key to get through to them. And again, every time I write something on COVID, I try to use this platform to tell people to get vaccinated. It’s safe. Mathematically, it’s been shown to largely prevent hospitalization and death, which is candidly all most people care about. (#VaxUpYall)
MSDH COVID-19 Reporting
Today MSDH is reporting 4,807 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 21 deaths, and 180 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. State #covid19 totals: 401,201 cases, 7,937 deaths, and 1,094,152 persons fully vaccinated. Full information: https://t.co/YCv9xPQkuS pic.twitter.com/THXv8CYyyG
— MS Dept of Health (@msdh) August 19, 2021
YP – MSDH reports over 20,000 students quarantined in Mississippi’s K-12 schools
With schools having been open just a few weeks or days for some, the MSDH says they have 4,500 documented cases of covid among students spanning across 803 schools in the state. This number increased in just five days. In the last three weeks 5,993 students have tested positive for the virus.
Not only are students being impacted but MSDH reported on Wednesday, almost 1,500 faculty with infections since the beginning of August. To date, only 29 schools have signed up for weekly testing of symptomatic individuals and will receive the test kits to
administer themselves. However, an additional 46 schools in school are working with the department to implement testing.
YP – Mississippi State Board of Education allows hybrid scheduling during COVID-19 surge
The SBE consulted with the Mississippi Department of Health in order to make the decision. Though now the hybrid scheduling option is extended through October 31, 2021, the SBE will consider extending it beyond November 1 at its October meeting.
Hybrid scheduling can only be used to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and will give districts another strategy to help educate students safely stated Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.
“The Mississippi Department of Education recommended the policy change because some superintendents expressed concern about the challenge of ensuring adequate social distance among students,” explained Dr. Wright.
YP – Senator Wicker tests positive for COVID-19
On Thursday, the office of Senator Roger R. Wicker released a statement confirming that the senior senator had tested positive for COVID-19. In the statement sent by Communications Director Phillip Waller he said the Senator is in good health and being treated locally.
“Senator Wicker tested positive this morning for the COVID-19 virus after immediately seeking a test due to mild symptoms. Senator Wicker is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, is in good health, and is being treated by his Tupelo-based physician. He is isolating, and everyone with whom Senator Wicker has come in close contact recently has been notified.”
YP – Petitions for Mississippi Early Voting Initiative move forward
Since the decision by the Mississippi Supreme Court to overrule the validity of Initiative 65, therefore calling into question Mississippi’s entire initiative process, several future ballot initiatives have been put on hold.
Petitions to place the Mississippi Early Voting Initiative #78 (MEVi78) have begun circulating throughout the state as of August 2, 2021. This proposed amendment to the Mississippi Constitution would give registered voters the right to vote early without an excuse.
House Representative Hester Jackson-McCray (D-40) is one of the sponsors of the MEVi78.
Congressman Guest visits with MDOT
U.S. @RepMichaelGuest met with the Mississippi Transportation Commission and MDOT Executive Director @BradleyRayWhite on Monday afternoon.
Guest highlighted initiatives he has recently been working on to support transportation infrastructure in Mississippi. pic.twitter.com/21AYvt7lak
— MDOT (@MississippiDOT) August 17, 2021
YP – Mississippi Lottery starts off a new fiscal year of transfers at $8.8 million
The Mississippi Lottery Corporation has announced its first transfer to the state budget for the FY 2022 year. In July they transferred $8,846,238.86 in net proceeds to the Lottery Proceeds Fund in the Mississippi State Treasury.
This is the first deposit for Fiscal Year 2022, which began July 1, 2021.
In accordance with law the first $80 million of lottery funds goes to the transportation. Any additional funds after that is diverted to education needs.
WLOX – Favre says it’s not his place to say whether to get vaccinated: ‘That’s why we live in America’
Towards the end of the interview, Favre was asked why there is a struggle among some athletes when it comes to discussing the COVID-19 vaccine.
Favre said that, in his opinion, it’s because “there is a great deal of uncertainty” about the vaccine and that “you hear one thing one day, and you hear something totally different the next.”
Favre also stated that the vaccines that have been administered over the past year did not go through a years-long human trial study, so, he said, “we’re sort of the human trials, if you will.”
He was pressed on this remark by journalist Kate Bolduan, with her responding that there isn’t really conflicting information that the vaccine is safe and effective.
WJTV – Vicksburg mayor seeks pay raise for himself and city employees
Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. plans to ask for a raise for himself and two aldermen when the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meets on Thursday, September 2, according to the Vicksburg Post.
“I’m going to ask for a dollar amount; not a percentage,” he said. “I want a raise for the aldermen and the employees. I’ve got this city $68 million in eight years. I’m working as the mayor and the lobbyist. I’m saving them money.”
The board’s last raise was in 2019, which increased the mayor’s salary from $103,417.60 year to $106,520.12. The aldermen’s salaries went from $82,742.40 per year to $85,224.67 per year to $85,225.67.