JACKSON, Miss. (Mississippi Today) – Gov. Tate Reeves has planned several Christmas parties at the Governor’s Mansion, despite warnings from state health experts against such gatherings amid the pandemic, and the governor’s own orders limiting the number of people allowed at such events in Hinds County.
This follows a fundraiser held by a hospital executive on the Coast last week for Reeves for more than 20 people, despite Reeves’ orders limiting gatherings in Harrison County because of record COVID-19 outbreaks.
Statewide and districtwide elected officials received an invite for a governor’s Christmas party for Wednesday evening, several officials told Mississippi Today. The governor has also invited lawmakers to separate parties for the House and Senate next week, several lawmakers said.
As COVID-19 statistics continue to set new records almost by the day, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs and the health department have warned Mississippians to avoid holiday gatherings beyond closest family and to avoid any groups beyond school, work or “essential gatherings.” Dobbs called the holidays a “perfect storm” for “explosive outbreaks” of COVID-19 and warned, “We will see deaths, absolutely, around holiday gatherings.” Health officials warn that Mississippi hospitals are overloaded with patients as pandemic cases spike to record levels.
Reeves has in recent weeks issued executive orders for 54 of Mississippi’s 82 counties that require wearing of masks in public and limiting gatherings to no more than 10 indoors and no more than 50 outdoors where social distancing is not possible.