JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba spoke about the COVID-19 situation in his city in an interview with MSNBC on Monday.
Lumumba said the situation is dire, and he placed some of that blame on Governor Tate Reeves’ decision to reopen the state early.
“This is the exact circumstance we feared when we saw the decision from the governor to open up the state,” Lumumba said. “I thought that that decision was not made based on the data. It was based on political pressure, and the thing that we fear is now taking place.”
He says the City of Jackson was doing well combating the virus in comparison to other cities of a similar size until the state was opened back up.
“We’re seeing numbers skyrocket. There’s no room in morgues. The ICU beds and hospitalization rates are at their very capacity,” he said.
He was asked about the positivity rate of testing, which is higher in Mississippi than any other state. He says the state needs more testing and the response should be made accordingly.
He thinks reopening the economy caused people to take less precautions, which means more community spread of the virus.
He also says the state needs to act now regarding schools. He wants the governor to roll back the requirement of schools going for 180 days.
With many schools going virtual, students across the country are scrambling to find the materials needed to succeed in class.
Lumumba says he’s “not getting the whole picture” in regard to reported COVID-19 deaths.
“We’ve been struggling to get a data sharing agreement with the state that has been held up through a legal process,” he said.