JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi’s Senate delegation joined Governor Tate Reeves Wednesday to discuss the state’s response to coronavirus.
There was a lot of discussion about the kind of can-do-attitude Mississippians have displayed in this crisis. And there was the recognition that it’s every single state jockeying for those federal resources.
“You haven’t seen me sitting up here complaining about what the federal government has or has not done. Mississippians step up,” said Reeves. "We work with our federal delegation. We work with our federal partners. We work with the president and when we can’t get something from them, we figure out a way to make a ventilator at the University of Mississippi Medical Center with fifty dollars worth of supplies from local hardware stores. That’s what Mississippi is all about.”
They detailed some of what the federal dollars may be used for and talked about how to move forward.
“As we reopen recover, we need a huge expansion of testing," said Sen. Roger Wicker. "Congress appropriated twenty-five-billion for testing last week.”
“We’re going to be changed forever," noted Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. "I don’t think we’re going to go back to business as normal and we don’t need to go back to business as normal because it is there. We’re still under a significant threat.”
In the way of testing, the State Health Officer previously noted the challenges in getting rapid tests.
“We just had a call with our federal partners at HHS trying to figure out how to get more of that," said Dr. Thomas Dobbs. "Still a bit of a struggle, but we hopefully see a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Reeves says he’s also working with federal partners to get more rapid testing capabilities. He also notes that the state will act quickly on distributing the federal CARES Act money.
“We are committed to get every single available resource to the people of Mississippi in an expedited as quickly as possible and get it to them so that they can use it now… not eight months from now, not eight years from now but as soon as humanly possible," said Reeves. "Because now is when people are hurting.“
The state only has until the end of the year to get those federal dollars distributed.