Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has ignored Joe Biden‘s continued calls for states to keep up their authoritarian COVID measures.
Joe Biden has been pleading with red states to keep up their mask mandates, but they aren’t listening.
“I’m reiterating my call for every governor, mayor, and local leader to maintain and reinstate the mask mandate,” Biden said during an address from the White House. “Please, this is not politics. Reinstate the mandate if you let it down. And businesses should require masks as well. The failure to take this virus seriously is precisely what got us into this mess in the first place.”
Arkansas Says No
The mask mandate for Arkansas has expired, and according to a press release from the state, Governor Asa Hutchinson has chosen not to extend the mandate.
Governor Hutchinson then took it one step further, telling Arkansas cities that they will not be able to enforce their own mask mandates.
Businesses and restaurants still have the ability to require their customers to wear masks.
According to reporting by Fox 13, “The state has so far met the requirements for new cases and hospitalizations set for the mandate’s end.”
Alongside meeting the requirements, Arkansas has also been doing very well with vaccine distribution. Governor Hutchinson announced that the state has given out 1.6 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, and has also expanded the availability of vaccines to anyone age 16 and older.
“We made our decision in Arkansas based upon the criteria we set,” said Governor Hutchinson, who set test positivity and hospitalizations goals last month in order for the state’s requirement to expire. “This is a goal we had. We achieved that, so we stuck with the principle that was outlined.”
This news puts Arkansas on the list of several red states who have been doing fairly well in regards to the pandemic, and have lifted many of their restrictions.