Republican Arkansas governor: Give control of vaccine distribution to states
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) called on President Biden to give greater control of vaccine distribution efforts to states on Sunday, echoing suggestions he made with other governors in a letter to the White House urging greater communication between state and federal officials.
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Hutchinson said that the Biden administration’s handling of the federal vaccination efforts had been “seamless” so far. He added, however, that administration officials on could do more to coordinate with state counterparts who in some cases are shipping vaccines to the same pharmacies and health care facilities to which federal vaccine allotments are being sent.
“Give it to the states, we’ll get it out…it’s easier to coordinate that way,” Hutchinson said Sunday.
“We’re going to continue to increase getting those doses out,” he added of state efforts to ramp up vaccine distribution.
During the interview, Hutchinson was also asked about a recent decision by his nephew, an Arkansas state senator, to leave the Republican Party in response to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Hutchinson responded that he respected his nephew’s decision and agreed that former President Trump should not be the standard-bearer of the GOP.
“No I wouldn’t,” Hutchinson said when asked by CNN’s Dana Bash if he would support Trump’s nomination in 2024.
“We have to have many different voices [in the party], and in my view we can’t let him define us for the future,” the governor said. “It would just further divide our country and it would hurt our Republican Party.”
Hutchinson has been one of a handful of GOP elected officials to publicly break from the former president in the weeks following the Capitol riot; many Republican members of Congress have avoided issuing pointed criticism of the president in the wake of the violence.