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Arkansas governor says mandates are increasing vaccine hesitancy

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said on Sunday mandates are increasing hesitancy surrounding COVID-19 vaccines.  

“The resistance is hard in some areas and part of it is because of the controversy, because of the mandates. It deepens the resistance and so that’s something that we have to overcome,” Hutchinson said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” 

Host Jake Tapper noted that Hutchinson is supportive of employers in his state who want to impose their own mandates and recognizes that such mandates are effective in increasing vaccine rates. Tapper noted, however, that the governor still won’t impose such a mandate on state employees who work for him.

“Well, it probably would increase vaccination rates, but it also would increase the resistance of some,” the governor said of the possibility of such a mandate. 

“It would in the broader population create that controversy and resistance,” he added.

“Government doesn’t need to tell them to do that,” Hutchinson said, noting that private businesses should be able to impose mandates. “People will make the right decision over time when they get the right information.”

The governor, who is vaccinated, added on CNN that he sees vaccines as “our way out” of the pandemic. 

“What works in Arkansas is not the mandate side of it, but it’s the education side and having the prerogative to make their own decision without the government telling them what to do,” the governor said.

Hutchinson added that there may be a time when the COVID-19 vaccine is mandated in Arkansas schools, “but that time is not now.”

Arkansas is in the bottom 10 states in the country for vaccination rates, as 48 percent of its population is fully vaccinated, according to The New York Times.


Tags Asa Hutchinson Jake Tapper

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