EDITORIAL/Who is in charge?


We all know more about what's going on with the coronavirus in New York City than our own state.

Doctors and scientists are examining new data hourly and announcing things, but not in Mississippi, not widely.

The President has been spending a couple of hours daily with his team doing in-depth press conferences.

Mississippi, however, is a data desert and most municipalities and counties are basing their reactions off of New York City, which translates to a massive overreaction.

While Gov. Tate Reeves has been conducting Facebook Live sessions that mostly his political supporters see, we rarely hear from the State Department of Health outside of a daily email update.

Following the first case in Mississippi, there were almost daily press conferences. The state gave pertinent information, ranging from age group, to whether the individuals were hospitalized, along with some reference point such as recent travel to an outside state.

Now, we just get numbers and maybe once a week some new data set that is outdated the second it's released.

The department has said they would no longer publish age group and hospitalization. No more details on possible exposure to the virus.

They also no longer report total number of tests from private labs, just positive cases. And soon, they say they will no longer do a county-by-county breakdown but provide a state aggregate.

The department also won't release the number of available ICU beds or ventilators because it's constantly changing, they say.

But we all know what's going on in New York City.

Why do we know so much more about cases in New York City and every other state but our own?

Counties and municipalities are reacting to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, where more than a third of the nation's cases are.

Why isn't Mississippi getting information to the public? Would it not benefit us all to know more?

Counties and cities are struggling to message as they rely on Facebook to get the word out. While helpful, it's not the universal broadcast television is or the county weekly.

There is a growing consensus no one is in charge beyond what's coming out of the White House and Gov. Cuomo.

A New York City reaction is the last thing Mississippi needs. These are unprecedented times that require unprecedented leadership. Mississippians are looking to state and local government for basic information, and your Facebook pages alone aren't going to do.

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