Governor Tate Reeves' (R-Mississippi) announcement comes at a time when politicians and news outlets are starting to raise the idea of bringing back mask mandates, especially for older Americans and other people deemed high-risk patients.
In the early days of COVID, here was what Reeves calls "understandable uncertainty."
"We did not yet know what we were facing," the governor remembered. "As the months unfolded, it became clear that there were two pandemics. A disease that was easy to spread and that was deadly for many vulnerable people, and a pandemic of fear stoked by 'the expert class' that demanded total subjugation of the American people."
But now, as new COVID variants emerge, he declares that "Mississippians will not and should not submit to fear again."
Twila Brase, RN and president/co-founder of the Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, applauds the decision.
"That's just heartening to hear," she responds.
Reeves, who is seeking re-election this year, signed legislation in April that bans COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
"No matter what pronouncements come down from the Biden/Fauci administration: we will go to school, we will go to church, we will go to work, and we will play sports," said Reeves. "We will live in self-determination, not top-down fear."
"If you want to take extraordinary measures to protect yourself from getting sick, God bless you," he continued. "That is your right, and you should do what you think is best. Maybe you're the smartest of all of us. But we are never going back to 2020."
Brase says it is important for other governors to follow suit.
"Imagine all the businesses that just barely survived during that COVID time," she notes. "They're probably heaving a huge sigh of relief because they know that the governor is not going to allow anyone to force them to shut down their business, to close their doors, to do six-foot social distancing. That's not going to happen in Mississippi."
As the health freedom advocate recently told AFN, she does not think the general public will submit to the "charade" and the "subjugation" this time.