Mississippi Edition


6/26/20 - Spikes in COVID-19 Alarm Health Officials | Lawmakers and the State Flag | College Athletics Send Unified Message

As Mississippi soars to its highest single-day report of COVID-19 cases, top health officials assess the potential dangers on the horizon.

Then, lawmakers are under mounting pressure to take action on the state flag.

And athletic leadership descends upon the capitol to send a unified message to change the flag.

Segment 1:

State health officials are sounding the alarm over rising cases of COVID-19. Yesterday, the Mississippi Department of Health reported 1,092 new cases of the disease - a number number nearly double the previous high. A state that took 96 days to reach 20,000 cases, is now on pace to reach 30,000 in just a two week span. State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers says the high numbers are a result of widespread community transmission.

Mississippi is not alone in the recent spikes of COVID-19 cases. States like Arizona and Florida are also experiencing increased rates of new cases. President Donald Trump, in a series of public events has attributed the rise in new cases to ramped up testing. Dr. Dobbs says that isn't the case in Mississippi.

Segment 2:

Mississippi lawmakers are under mounting pressure from religious groups, big business, and athletic conferences to remove confederate imagery from the state's official banner. As MPB's Michael Guidry reports, for many Mississippians, the state flag remains a constant reminder of a long history of violence and oppression.

Segment 3:

Coaches and Athletic Directors from Mississippi’s eight public colleges and universities are calling on state legislators to change the flag. Last week, the NCAA revised its long-standing policy on the confederate flag, updating it to prohibit all post-season competition in states that display the image. During a press conference at the capitol, coaches presented a unified message that the time has come to act.