By Sam Dorman | Fox News

Mississippi Gov Tate Reeves says there’s an urgent need to re-open the economy, arguing Saturday that Americans can’t wait for a coronavirus vaccine or more extensive testing.

“We can’t wait until there’s a cure to this,” Reeves said on “Cavuto Live.”  “We can’t wait until every single person can get tested every single day to open up our economy. We have serious mental health issues going on in this country right now. And we also have a serious economic crisis going on in this country right now.”

Reeves’ interview came amid scattered demonstrations calling for states to lift coronavirus-related restrictions. Since the pandemic started, the U.S. has seen millions of new unemployment claims and a general anxiety about the economic impact of social distancing and stay-at-home rules.

Reeves suggested that it’s shortsighted for governments to consider certain businesses “non-essential” during the pandemic.

“In this country, you have a lot of conversation about non-essential versus essential — well, what I can tell you is in Mississippi, if you’re a small business owner and you have five or six or seven employees, that business may not be essential to you and me, but it’s pretty daggone essential to that person who owns it, and very essential to that worker who works there,” he said.

Reeves’ state is joining many others in beginning to re-open their economies, despite concerns about potentially spreading the virus.

“When we talk about re-opening our economy and re-opening our country, we have to understand that in America, there is not a one size fits all,” he said.

“Yesterday, I took action to begin the process of re-opening small businesses — we now are going to allow our small business owners that can take phone calls and internet orders and deliver them curbside service, like many of our restaurants are doing now, we’re going to let them open back up and that’s something that’s critically important.”

Mississippi recently faced a violent tornado as it worked to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. “It’s been a very challenging week, as you can imagine,” Reeves told Fox News host Neil Cavuto. He added that his state allowed people to go to safe rooms while maintaining social distancing to the extent possible.

On Friday, Reeves extended his statewide stay-at-home order by one week, to April 27, to try to slow the spread of the disease. As of Saturday morning, there were nearly 3,800 coronavirus cases and 140 deaths reported in Mississippi. Sam Dorman is a reporter with Fox News. 

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