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Ark. Gov. Hutchinson speaks out against federal COVID-19 mandate

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 6:21 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2022 at 9:22 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Arkansas continues to see record-high COVID-19 cases as its test positivity rate stands close to 30% while vaccinations remain low compared to other states in the country.

Governor Asa Hutchinson appeared on CNN’s State of the Union and says he will continue to do what he can to save lives and control the pandemic but will not impose any mandates.

“I don’t believe that the mandate is the right way to go at this time, particularly the federal mandate that should be struck down, because that’s going to give us a greater worker shortage,” said Hutchinson. “It’s going to increase the resistance for taking the vaccine, which is what we want to be able to do.”

President Joe Biden’s vaccinate-or-test mandate is expected to go into effect Monday barring any action from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Arkansas has plans to extend unemployment benefits to people fired for refusing to get vaccinated.

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