Governor announces coronavirus task force, new DHS director

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During a press conference, Governor Tate Reeves made several important announcements. 

As Mississippi officials continue to monitor the coronavirus outbreak across the country, Governor Reeves announced the formation of the ‘Mississippi Coronavirus Preparedness & Response Planning Steering Committee’. The committee will be led by State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs and representatives from many state agencies will round out the membership. 

Dr. Dobbs stated that there have been several individuals tested for the virus in Mississippi but all of them tested negative. Governor Reeves stated that the formation of the task force is a part of their plan to act now in order to plan for any scenario. 

“There is no higher priority than ensuring the health and safety of all who call Mississippi home. And we are taking this coronavirus threat seriously. We are taking action now—ahead of any confirmed cases—to make sure that we are ready for any scenario. Bringing together our state’s leaders and experts puts Mississippi in the best possible position to prepare and improve our response plan and activities,” said Governor Reeves.

Next, the Governor announced that Bob Anderson has been named the new Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Anderson is a former federal prosecutor that has worked alongside former Attorney General Jim Hood and current Attorney General Lynn Fitch. Reeves said that there is “no one more capable to root out any remnants of the misdeeds of the past and ensure that corruption never infects this department again”. 

His appointment comes after former DHS Executive Director John Davis and 5 others were arrested in what State Auditor Shad White called the largest embezzlement scheme in Mississippi history.

The final announcement made by Governor Reeves was the formation of the ‘Mississippi Cybersecurity Task Force’, which will be led by Attorney General Fitch. The task force will work to identify all of the state’s vulnerabilities and reset the cybersecurity standards and procedures.

“States, the federal government, and businesses are all facing daily cybersecurity threats. Mississippi is no different. We are taking action now. And I am grateful that our Attorney General will be at the tip of the spear,” Reeves said.

At the press conference, the Governor also stated that the search continues for several state agency heads, including the Department of Corrections. 

Watch the full press conference below:

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