Democrats in Mississippi are pointing to Gov. Tate Reeves as the reason the state is faced with the country’s highest infant mortality rate at 9.4. percent. The charges come as the Democratic candidate Brandon Presley is challenging Reeves in the November general election.
A new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows Mississippi has the highest infant mortality rate, exceeding the national rate by almost four percent. Another report shows that the maternal mortality rate for Black women has increased 25 percent during the time Reeves has been in office.
A news release from the Mississippi Democratic Party states that last year, the Delta lost its only neonatal intensive care unit and Singing River Health System in Gulfport had to stop delivering babies due to staff lay-offs. Last month, four more hospitals announced plans to end inpatient care, which State Health Officer Dr. Dan Edney equates to a hospital closure.
Nearly half of the state’s 74 hospitals are at risk of closing with 25 of those being at risk of immediate closure. Last month, Greenwood Mayor McAdams warned that hospitals across the state are “on the chopping block” because of Reeves’ failure to expand Medicaid after Greenwood Leflore Hospital went up for lease for the second time in two years.
“While Tate Reeves is remodeling the governor’s mansion with lemon trees and meditation gardens on the taxpayers’ dime, mothers and babies are dying from a lack of healthcare, hospitals, and prenatal care,” said Andre Wagner, Executive Director of the Mississippi Democratic Party. “Mississippi’s health care system is on the brink of collapse under Tate Reeves and he could not be bothered to say a word about it.”