They lack the imagination to conceive of a people who value freedom more than a little temporary safety. The obvious implication is that the people who voted for the governors of TX and MS are not smart enough to make decisions for themselves and accept the consequences.
Nor is an alleged non-understanding or rejection of science on the part of conservatives and libertarians the problem. The problem is in the mandate itself, coming not with the consent of the governed, but from the governmental elite, who consider themselves our moral and intellectual betters. Most Americans it turns out, don't like to be ordered around.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” - Ben Franklin