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sunday shows

CNN's Jake Tapper presses Mississippi governor on COVID-19 policies in contentious interview

Things got a little contentious between CNN's Jake Tapper and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) on Sunday's edition of State of the Union as the two discussed the state's current COVID-19 surge.

Tapper began the exchange by pointing out that if Mississippi were a country it would be second in the world, behind only Peru, in per capita coronavirus deaths. "With all due respect, governor, your way is failing," Tapper said, before repeatedly asking if Reeves would adopt an alternative approach to prevent similar waves in the future.

Reeves responded by saying that Mississippi's caseload has fallen dramatically in recent days, acknowledging that deaths will likely continue to rise since they're a lagging factor. He also reiterated that he wants his constituents to talk to their doctors about "potentially" getting vaccinated, which he said was the best way to fight the virus while noting that 89 percent of Mississippi's COVID-19 hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated. But he didn't say whether his office plans to do anything differently in the days and weeks ahead and continued to criticize President Biden's federal vaccine rules.

The back-and-forth continued, with Reeves suggesting Tapper may have been focusing on Mississippi and ignoring other states with high COVID-19 numbers because those states are led by Democrats, a remark Tapper didn't appear to take kindly to. Watch the interview below.