Mississippi Edition

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7/31/20 - Education and Economy | Hospitals Near Crisis | New MS Dem Party Chair

Education and the economy take center stage as Mississippi’s worst month of the coronavirus pandemic comes to a close.

Then, with a steady trend of high cases, the state’s hospital system remains strained.

Plus, how the new chair of the Mississippi Democratic Party plans to broaden its coalition.

Segment 1:

School districts are submitting their plans for reopening to the Department of Education for review. Districts were provided with three options for reopening, including classroom instruction, online instruction, or a hybrid of the two. Because of rising coronavirus numbers, some school districts are now delaying their reopening, or opting to go online only.  

The state is also currently operating without an passed education budget bill. Governor Tate Reeves assures money has been transferred into the MAEP ahead of school openings, but says he will not call a special session of the legislature - citing safety concerns. While unwilling to call the legislature until it is completely safe, Reeves continues to advocate for in-person learning as school districts hit the deadline for restart plans. Reeves says just as there are risks associated with on-campus learning, there are also risks associated with keeping kids out of school. 

Some advocates for traditional school cite the struggling economy as a reason to get kids back in the classroom. The nation experienced a sharp drop in the GDP during the second quarter as unemployment continues at a high rates. Corey Miller with the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning tells our Desare Frazier how Mississippi compares to the rest of the nation during a time of economic insecurity.

Segment 2:

Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Mississippi, and hospitals are preparing for more COVID-19 positive patients. Medical experts, like Dr. Jonathan Wilson, say these impending cases could overwhelm the healthcare system. Wilson is the Incident Manager and Chief Administrative Officer at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He tells our Kobee Vance if coroanvirus hospitalizations increase beyond what the hospital can handle, it will be difficult to maintain the standard of care Mississippians expect.

Segment 3:

A retired judge is taking the helm of the Mississippi Democratic Party with the goal of diversifying its ranks. New Mississippi Democratic Party Chair, Retired Judge Tyree Irving says the party must be more racially diverse to prevail in the state. Irving, who has served in leadership roles in the party at the county level, tells our Desare Frazier he wants dismantle the narrative that the Democratic Party caters to one race.