Senate Minority Leader Derrick T. Simmons joins Mississippi House Leader Robert Johnson in Urging Governor and Lawmakers to release critical funding to battle COVID-19 pandemic

Mississippi is in crisis, especially our healthcare system which is collapsing. State leaders must act now with urgency. Until today, the governor was missing. Our legislative leadership is currently wasting time in hearings on medical marijuana and scheduling soon to occur hearings on income tax reform instead of focusing on getting COVID-19 numbers lowered. 

 

Our hospitals are out of Intensive Care Unit beds and the University of Mississippi Medical Center has set up hospital beds in garages and tents to treat our sick. 

Today, our state health department reported 5,023 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 31 deaths, and 166 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. This was one of the highest reporting days since the pandemic began, with 381,147 total cases, 7,761 total deaths, and 1,065,743 persons fully vaccinated.

It is not time for politics or for state leaders to play who can out-Trump the other. People are getting sick and dying at an alarming rate and we must fight this virus together with science and facts. Thank you Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann for recognizing that our healthcare workers are overwhelmed and we must all work together to stop the spread of Covid-19. I thank Dr. Thomas Dobbs, his team, and all our true leaders during this crisis - Mississippi health care and essential workers. Our hearts, prayers, and safe wishes are with each of you and your families.

Mississippi has nearly $2 billion dollars in federal funds to be used for battling the pandemic. We have a shortage of nurses, healthcare, and frontline workers. Those dollars should be used to immediately enhance pay of essential workers and hire more of them. Our nurses are leaving Mississippi to work in states using these same federal funds to attract more essential workers by paying them more.

 

It’s time for the governor and all of us to stop politicizing this critical issue.

Let’s follow the instructions of doctors, scientists, our own Chief State Health officer, and other national health care leaders. 

The governor should issue a statewide mask mandate now especially for schools. He should be Mississippi’s loudest and most visible cheerleader for getting more people vaccinated.

More importantly the governor should call a special session and instruct the legislature to immediately appropriate the money and create the measures needed to bolster and help our healthcare system take care of those people who are suffering and to help our school systems provide a safe and effective environment for our teachers and children.

 

If each of us could just for one second act as if the next illness or death will be in our home, then join me by respectfully asking our governor and other state leaders to boldly respond to this crisis by being the loudest microphone on urging Mississippians to get vaccinated and by issuing the same mask mandate that was issued when the virus was not as deadly and transmissible.


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