TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - During his news briefing on Monday, Gov. Tate Reeves was asked a question about how his office was communicating with mayors during the coronavirus pandemic.
The question mentioned Mayor Jason Shelton and Jackson's mayor, saying the city leaders did not feel like the governor's office was communicating well with them outside of his news briefings.
"We've worked very very hard to communicate weekly, early on and pretty regularly with mayors. Mayors, like the one in Tupelo, who has decided he'd rather play politics in the middle of this pandemic than focus on what's right for his constituents and that's certainly his prerogative. He certainly wants to attack attack attack and play the blame game. There will be plenty of time for the blame game, there will be plenty of time for us to look back and say, well maybe we should have done this or maybe we should have done that, but now is not the time. When you're in the middle of a pandemic, the likes of which we haven't seen in over 100 years, anybody that has any sense is going to put politics aside and focus on doing what's right for our constituents," Reeves said.
WTVA 9 News reached out to Mayor Shelton for his response. He sent the following statement:
“Tupelo has led the way in responding to Covid-19 and we have listened to local, state, and national health care providers every step of the way. We have followed the science in Tupelo and I will be glad to put our record pertaining to Covid-19 against the Governor’s. When we declared a state of emergency on February 24, 2020 Gov. Reeves was on his way to Spain for a European vacation. After returning when someone sent a private jet for him and after a prolonged period of inaction, I am glad to see the Governor finally taking Covid-19 seriously, but it is unfortunate that he continues with a nonsensical hodgepodge approach. We need uniform and consistent statewide mandates. Our State needs sound and decisive leadership and that is unfortunately missing at the moment. Our current Governor is so mistrusted by his own party that they stripped his ability to administer Cares Act funds from him. I will gladly work with Governor Reeves to implement sound policy to help keep Mississippians safe. We need to get partisan politics out of the equation and follow the guidance from our health care professionals, which is what we have done and will continue to do in Tupelo. “