The Mississippi Governor’s Office announced Thursday that Dr. Michael S. Taylor has been admitted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center after a case of pneumonia.
Taylor is in isolation at the hospital, where he has been recovering.
The governor said Thursday afternoon that he was relieved to hear Taylor was recovering and hoped to have him out of isolation as soon as possible.
He was the medical director for the Mississippi Department of Health and Hospitals when he became governor in 2015.
Phil Bryant, a Republican, has faced criticism for using state funds to hire Taylor to serve as health director.
He said Thursday that he had not hired Taylor because he could not afford to pay him.
He said that he will not make any changes to the director position until Taylor is released from the hospital.
Bryant has defended his use of state money to hire the physician, saying the budget was set aside for that purpose and that the health department was not under any obligation to pay Taylor.
The director position was set up to pay for hospitalization of patients with pneumonia.
Taylor’s office said Thursday he will be reimbursed by the state if he is discharged.
The governor said he was glad that he is now getting help.
“The hospital is here to provide the highest quality care for those patients that we see,” Bryant said.
“We want them to be successful and get well.
We will pay for that.
We want them in the hospital as soon possible.
We’ll get them back as soon we can.
And if they are successful, we’ll make it right.”