Arkansas GOP Governor Warns of Vaccine Mandates, Says They are Increasing Vaccine Hesitancy

Posted: Oct 24, 2021 4:30 PM
Arkansas GOP Governor Warns of Vaccine Mandates, Says They are Increasing Vaccine Hesitancy

Source: AP Photo/Kelly Kissel

Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday that coronavirus vaccine mandates would lead to many Americans being more likely to refuse the shot.  

"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 told host Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union." 

Tapper pointed out that while Hutchinson backs employers who wish to implement vaccine requirements and believes that such mandates result in higher vaccine rates, the governor also opposes mandating that shot for state employees.

"Well, it probably would increase vaccination rates, but it also would increase the resistance of some," Hutchinson said of a vaccine mandate. "It would in the broader population create that controversy and resistance."

"Government doesn't need to tell them to do that," he continued before highlighting his support for private businesses having the right to impose mandates. "People will make the right decision over time when they get the right information."

The governor went on to add that he thinks vaccines are "our way out" of the COVID-19 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," he said.

Hutchinson indicated that this is not the time to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine in Arkansas schools, but left the door open for the possibility of such a requirement later on.

This, after both Florida and Texas banned public and private entities from enforcing vaccine mandates.

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