Federal and state vaccine mandates only hurt the effort to inoculate more people against COVID-19, according to GOP Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
In an interview aired Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” Hutchinson said individual businesses ought to be making those mandate decisions.
“The debate on mandates takes away from the efficacy of the vaccines themselves,” the governor said.
“All of this slowed down acceptance of the vaccine and increased resistance,” he argued, “let’s just encourage vaccine acceptance and build confidence in it… mandates are not beneficial… that’s the wrong direction.”
According to Hutchinson, there is effectiveness when an individual business issues a mandate for its own workforce.
“I’m speaking of the government mandates… the states are coming in,” and that, he said, is “not practical or principled.”
“I’m a defender of the employers right to create a healthy workplace,” Hutchinson said.
“They should have the prerogative to make that decision… every time we have a debate… our resistance increases and our acceptance goes down”
Hutchinson also dismissed comments by former President Donald Trump as “not effective” when he suggested Republicans should not vote in the 2020 or 2024 elections unless alleged 2020 election fraud is addressed.
“Let’s talk about the future, the election is past, it has been certified,” he said, adding: “It’s about the future and not about the last election.”
A recent survey of Americans on President Joe Biden’s plan to require most workers to get either vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19 has shown a persistent divide: Democrats are overwhelmingly for it, while most Republicans are against it.
With the highly contagious delta variant driving deaths up to around 2,000 per day, the poll released Thursday by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed overall, 51% say they approve of the Biden requirement, 34% disapprove, and 14% hold neither opinion.
About three quarters of Democrats, but only about a quarter of Republicans, approve. Roughly 6 in 10 Republicans say they disapprove. Over the course of the outbreak, Democrats and Republicans in many places have also found themselves divided over masks and other precautions.