Story at a glance

  • Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Sunday expressed concern about the trouble ahead if his state didn’t ramp up vaccinations.
  • “And if we stopped right here, and we didn’t get greater percent of our population vaccinated, then we’re going to have trouble in the next school year and over the winter,” he said Sunday.
  • West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) also called on residents to get the critical shot.

Several Republican governors are urging residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine amid lagging vaccination rates in their states and the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant. 

The delta variant accounts for about 25 percent of all current coronavirus infections in the U.S. and is on track to become the dominant strain. Public health officials have expressed concern about outbreaks among pockets of unvaccinated Americans as the U.S. is averaging about 12,600 new cases per day, a 10-percent increase from the previous week. 


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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Sunday expressed concern about the trouble ahead if his state didn’t ramp up vaccinations. About 32 percent of residents in Arkansas are fully vaccinated. 

“We are in a race,” Hutchinson said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “If we stopped right here, and we didn’t get a greater percent of our population vaccinated, then we’re going to have trouble in the next school year and over the winter. So, we want to get ahead of that curve. Working very hard to do that.” 

“We got the early vaccinations out because people were anxious. They were in a very vulnerable population. Our cases went down dramatically and that slowed the vaccination rate. The urgency diminished and now it’s picking up again,” he added. 

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) on ABC’s “This Week” voiced frustration with the state’s statewide slowdown of immunizations. 

“The young people, we’re having a hard time getting them across the finish line and getting them vaccinated,” Justice said Sunday. “The red states probably have a lot of people that are very, very conservative in their thinking and they think, well, 'I don’t have to do that.' But they’re not thinking right.”  

Just 52 percent of West Virginians are partially vaccinated despite vaccine incentives ranging from college scholarships to free hunting and fishing licenses. 

“We have a lottery that...says if you’re vaccinated we’re going to give you stuff. Well, you’ve got another lottery going on, and it’s the death lottery,” he said. 


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Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) told CBS’s “Face the Nation” the disparity in vaccination rates along party lines was “troubling.” A recent Washington Post poll found 86 percent of Democrats have received at least one dose of vaccine, compared with just 45 percent of Republicans. The poll found 38 percent of Republicans said they definitely will not receive the vaccine. 

“I spoke about this often...how unfortunate it is that politics is becoming religion in our country, politics is becoming sport and entertainment in our country,” he said. 

“It’s a huge mistake, it’s caused us to make bad decisions during this pandemic and in other phases of our life as well,” he said. 

Utah on Tuesday announced 61 percent of residents age 12 and older now have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. 


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Published on Jul 06, 2021