As Mississippi approaches this week's anniversary of the first COVID-19 case in Mississippi, the state's top health official says they knew as early as January of 2020 that this disease outbreak was "the big one". Doctor Thomas Dobbs says he's not surprised that public health officials across the country weren't fully prepared for the pandemic-- because there hasn't been steady funding to create the necessary readiness. And he says in some states-- but not Mississippi-- public health efforts have been undermined by politicians. Dobbs says Mississippi needs to rebuild its local health departments so they're prepared for the next pandemic. State Epidemiologist Doctor Paul Byers says there were "many unknowns" when COVID-19 first appeared in the U-S-- but he never thought we'd still be dealing with the virus a year later.