Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Sunday his state is seeing “very, very little virus,” even if it has the worst rate of vaccine uptake in the U.S.
Mr. Reeves, a Republican, said cases are down 98% in his state since early January, so that should be the main goal. He pointed to the high number of people with natural immunity alongside those who took the COVID-19 shots.
“There is very, very little virus in our state,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Only about 35% of people in Mississippi have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 28% are fully vaccinated, according to a Bloomberg tracker, compared to 51% with one dose and 42% fully vaccinated nationally.
Federal officials are warning states with low uptake that too many residents will remain vulnerable to the virus, particularly if it spikes again in the fall.
Mr. Reeves said the same officials warned red states to keep their economies closed earlier this year, only for those states to avoid disastrous outcomes.
He said the vaccine is safe and effective, and that’s why he took it publicly in January, but that it is up to residents to decide if they want the shots.
“Individuals can make their own decision as to how to protect themselves and their families,” the governor said.