Gov. Asa Hutchinson admitted that it was a mistake to sign a law banning mask mandates in Arkansas.
Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas admitting signing the law banning masks in schools was a mistake, "It was an error to sign that law. I admit that."
Asa Hutchinson is the rare Southern Republican governor who isn't trying to kill kids with COVID. pic.twitter.com/buvCCTXMhc
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) August 8, 2021
Hutchinson said on CBS’s Face The Nation when asked why he changed his position on mask mandates:
Well, facts change and leaders have to adjust to the new facts that you are — and the reality of what you have to deal with. Whenever I signed that law, our cases were low. We were hoping this the whole thing was gone. And in terms of the virus. But it roared back with the delta variant. And whenever you know, we’re pushing the vaccines out, but those under 12 cannot get vaccinated in the schools.
And so I realized that we needed to have more options for our local school districts to protect those children. And so I asked the legislature to redo the law that prohibited those requirements or those options for the school districts to protect those children. It was anerrorto sign that law. I admit that. Thank goodness for the legislature didn’t act, this week, which they didn’t, the court stepped in and held that as unconstitutional. And now we have that local flexibility for schools to make their decision to protect the children based upon the unique circumstances of their district
Asa Hutchinson Has To Live With Signing Mask Mandate Ban
It is great that Gov. Hutchinson is walking it back and now wants to protect students in schools. He also deserves credit for urging people to get vaccinated, but his decision to sign the mask mandate ban was more than bad policy. Who knows how many residents of his state got sick and died from COVID due to the message that his ban sent?
If every Republican governor would have treated the pandemic as public health instead of a political issue, the country would have COVID under control.
Republican governors own the Delta variant surge, and even though Gov. Hutchinson finally made the right decision, he still needless harmed the people of his state getting there.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association