Myth busting: Mississippi leaders work to dispel COVID-19 rumors

Mythbusting: Addressing COVID-19 rumors

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Mississippi’s state leadership is now warning that the virus is the worst it’s been. But they are also trying to clear up several rumors.

Wearing a mask is a topic that’s emboldening keyboard warriors and skeptics.

“Right now, it seems like there’s a good number of people who have resigned themselves to spreading the virus,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “Or they believe that is not real.”

But Governor Tate Reeves has a message for folks about wearing the masks.

“This is the best weapon we have right now,” explained Reeves. “It’s not fun but it’s a hell of a lot better than widespread economic shutdown.”

Reeves admits it got confusing early on with even national mask guidance changing in the early days.

“Is wearing a mask in public foolproof?” Reeves asked. “Does it guarantee that no spread is going to occur? No. It does not. But it can go a long way towards helping.”

What about the idea of herd immunity? Reeves is admittedly a numbers guy and says the math doesn’t match up.

“We’d have to see 1,160,000 more cases to get to what they say is half of herd immunity,” explained Reeves. “We received 36,000 cases in March and April and May and June and July. Those have led us to a situation in which our hospitals are at capacity. Herd immunity as a solution does not work.”

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs also trying to quiet the voices claiming numbers are inflated.

“If we test someone three times, does that count as three cases? Absolutely not. Same person is going to be just one case,” noted Dobbs.

He says they’ve also had a lot of questions about whether antibody tests results are changing the overall numbers.

“Of our total 36,680 cases, 285 are from antibody test,” said Dobbs. “So it’s a small number.”

Reeves says enforcing the mask mandates is difficult. But whether folks are in a county that has one or not, he wants them to wear one.

“Please make no mistake, we are in the middle of a spike today,” said Reeves.

The Governor did note that there could be some other counties added to that order that includes the mask mandate because of their high case counts over the weekend.

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