‘Now our people are at risk,’ Rep. Bennie Thompson says of Mississippi’s failure to take government funding for vaccination efforts

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While nearly 70 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, Mississippi has among the lowest vaccination rates in the country, with just under one million residents — about a third of the statewide population — fully vaccinated, according to statistics provided by the state’s health department. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., points the blame squarely on the state’s Republican Gov. Tate Reeves.

“Our governor refused to take the FEMA money to go out and identify those vulnerable areas,” Thompson told PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff in an interview Tuesday. He said that several counties in his congressional district did not have any vaccination sites, despite the fact the federal government would have paid the cost for them. “Those numbers reflect the fact that we didn’t accept the money. And so now our people are at risk,” Thompson said.

This discussion came after a larger interview Woodruff had with Thompson on Tuesday, six months since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week named Thompson as the chair of a new select committee to investigate the attack.
Watch the full interview on Tuesday’s broadcast of the NewsHour.

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