KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While in Kansas City to sign a Missouri gas tax bill into law, Gov. Mike Parson also addressed the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state.
The Delta variant of the virus is running rampant in Missouri, particularly in rural areas where vaccination rates are low.
"We know what these situations are, and the reality. We know that the Delta variant is a serious issue," Parson said to the crowd gathered at the signing. "But we watch those numbers every day."
Parson emphasized that no one will be forced to receive the vaccine.
He cited the fact that over 80% of the population aged 65 and older have received the vaccine and pointed out those are the most vulnerable people to the virus.
"If you go from 18 and up, 55% of the population has a vaccine. So I think it's important to remember those numbers. If you add the children into that number, those numbers go down, which is what some of them will do just to give you lower numbers to make the situation sound worse."
The governor said the state is still paying attention to health data on a daily basis. He does not believe any hospitals are in crisis.
"Again, we're not in crisis mode. We understand that the virus is out there. We knew this was going to take place, we know that the vast majority of people in the state, not the vast majority, I'm sorry, but the large number of it will not take the vaccine, right? And that's going to be the case, we've had to deal with it," Parson said.
He pointed out that other states are also experiencing a decrease in vaccinations.
"We're going to deal with it. We're going to have all the resources we need to help us be able to help," Parson added. "I think we did a $5 million media campaign trying to explain that we can target certain areas."
He said the state is administering about 7,000 vaccines a day.