Greetings from one of the states Rachel Maddow keeps mentioning when she talks about places where the governor isn't doing much of a goddamn thing to stop the spread of coronavirus. (Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi, Idaho, Wyoming. We are in the "Tennessee" one, very close to its border with the "Mississippi" one. Two-fer!)

The Idaho governor still ain't doin' shit. The Missouri governor finally closed the restaurants, so that's cool, we guess. The Texas lieutenant governor is just suggesting that maybe grandma and grandpa have to die of coronavirus for the greater good Trump's economy. Libertarian-type bid'ness guy Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is about to get around to gettin' around to doin' something, we reckon, even though a couple thousand doctors in the state have already asked him to please do a shelter-in-place order. The response is much smarter in Kentucky, one state north, where the governor is a Democrat.

But don't worry about us, at least for now. Tennessee's blue cities are taking the lead over the state government, just like the blue states are taking the lead over the federal government. Nashville (Davidson County), where the outbreak has been most concentrated so far, closed the bars a while back, and there's now a shelter-in-place/"safer at home" order in effect. In Memphis (Shelby County), the "safer at home" order goes into effect at 6:00 p.m. today, and all the other municipalities in the county seem to be working in concert, announcing their own orders not long after Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced ours.

But just 15 minutes south of us in Mississippi, there's a different governor, and his name is Tater Tate Reeves, and he is a huge fucking idiot. We are not saying that Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is not a huge fucking idiot, we are just saying that if Lee and Reeves had a huge fucking idiot contest to win a golden ticket back to first grade to LEARN A FUCKING THING, Tate Reeves would win that one.

Tater, who just got back from a trip to SPAIN with his family, SPAIN WE SAID SPAIN, ain't doin' no statewide lockdown order because here's why:


"Mississippi's never going to be China. Mississippi's never going to be North Korea," Reeves responded. He added that "when looking at the numbers China's putting out, claiming that they have no new cases over a period of time—I'm not entirely sure we can trust that data." [...] "We don't want to make any decisions that would ultimately do more harm than good," Reeves said.

As the Jackson Free Press notes, while there is ample reason to be skeptical of China, including with its initial response to coronavirus, the lockdown does seem to have worked, at least so far, according to global health experts. (No new cases in Wuhan province in the last five days, reportedly.) And while we believe Tater's heart is in the right place when he says he doesn't want Mississippi to become China or North Korea, we do wonder where the hell is brain is, as this type of shit could very well make Mississippi, the state that is last in everything, the next Italy.

Tater may not be protecting his people with science, but he is definitely leading prayer time on Facebook:

Good job, Tater, that was some nice prayin'.

To be clear, Tater did do an executive order today. It is some weak-ass shit.

It's not that Mississippi is some protected island unto itself here. Its numbers aren't huge yet. But just next door to Mississippi's south is Louisiana, which is experiencing the fastest-growing coronavirus outbreak in the country. The hospitals in New Orleans are overrun, and may experience "systemic collapse" in the coming days, according to an ER doctor Vice spoke to. Memphis's coronavirus outbreak was at least partially (and originally) seeded by people who went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Same goes for cases in Texas and Arkansas and probably much further than that. (Seriously, everybody in New Orleans has been calling it the "Mardi Gras bug" ever since many of them had it, just after Mardi Gras, before hardly anybody knew what "coronavirus" was.)

Know what you have to go through to get from New Orleans to Memphis? Oh, just the entire length of Mississippi. You might even accidentally trip over Tate Reeves's Bible on the way!

It's also impossible to understand, for those not intimately familiar, how much the culture of southern Louisiana is connected with the culture of southern Mississippi is connected with the culture of the Misssissippi Delta is connected with the culture of Memphis. There's gonna be a lot of spread. Hell, the second highest number of cases in Mississippi is in DeSoto County, which is ... the Memphis suburbs! (The highest is Hinds County, where Jackson is.)

Louisiana (Democratic) Governor John Bel Edwards has issued a statewide stay-at-home order. In Tennessee, the mayors are doing what the governor won't, which, to be fair, is also happening in Mississippi.

But not Tater! Y'ain't gon' make Tater turn Miss'sip' into no Chinese North Korea!

Now if you'll just sit there and keep your coughing to a minimum, Tater would like to read you another verse from his Bible.

[Jackson Free Press]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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