Arkansas Gov. Asa HutchinsonAsa HutchinsonSunday shows preview: Biden administration grapples with border surge; US mourns Atlanta shooting victims GOP governor: Time for ‘heavy-handed’ COVID-19 restrictions to fall by the ‘wayside’ New Arkansas abortion law a sign of the times MORE (R) on Sunday said that the vaccine hesitancy reported among supporters of former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden hampered by lack of confirmations Letlow wins Louisiana special House election to replace late husband Number of migrant children in US custody passed 15,000: report MORE is due to “a natural resistance to government,” calling it “worrisome.”
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Dana BashDana BashKhashoggi fiancée: Not punishing Saudi crown prince would be ‘stain on our humanity’ Senate Democrat: Saudi relationship being ‘recalibrated’ Sunday shows – Trump’s reemergence, COVID-19 vaccines and variants dominate MORE asked Hutchinson what he made of the hesitancy, noting that voters in his state of Arkansas are largely pro-Trump. Earlier in the program, Bash noted that half of Trump supporters have said they do not plan on getting a coronavirus vaccine.
“Well I’ve thought a lot about that and I think it’s a natural resistance to government and skepticism of it. But you look at the breadth of support here in Arkansas for President Trump, and you have rural voters, you have minority voters and their hesitancy is worrisome, not just here but all across the country,” Hutchinson said.
“And I expect, as a country, we’ll get the 50 percent vaccination rate of the population, but we’re going to have a harder time getting from 50 percent to 70 percent, and it’s about overcoming the skepticism,” he added.
Bash also asked Hutchinson if he thought Trump should be more aggressive in his support of the vaccine. Trump expressed his support of vaccination in an interview last week, but he did not participate in the public service announcement that other former U.S. president took part in touting the vaccines.
“Well, I’m delighted that he did indicate — get the vaccine [and] promoted that,” Hutchinson said. “I don’t know the story behind as to why he wasn’t in the PSA with the other presidents. Any message is helpful and I think we have to have our leaders, we have to have sports figures, we have to have different representatives of our community, including our political leaders, say [the] vaccine is important.”
During the same interview, Hutchinson affirmed that he planned to lift the mask mandate in Arkansas at the end of March. Bash asked why the mask mandate would be lifted, given the evidence that has been collected over the course of the pandemic.
“We’re a year into this and we know so much more today than we did a year ago. And so we had to educate people understand the importance of the mask, and I expect even though we take the mask mandate away that people will continue to use the mask when you cannot safely distance,” Hutchinson said.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson defends his decision to let the Arkansas mask mandate expire: “I expect… people will continue to use the mask when you cannot socially distance and whenever there’s the risk of the virus. So common sense is going to replace mandates.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/bCdLieWJEU
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 21, 2021