Arkansas will ‘lose valuable workers’ over COVID vaccine mandate: Gov. Hutchinson

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47% of Arkansas’s population is fully vaccinated

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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson explained why her state is not implementing a vaccine mandate for state employees at Granthshala Business’ “Varney and Co.”

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Governor Asa Hutchinson: Our goal is to increase vaccination rates. We believe the best way to do this is through education and experience. When I say experience, it’s about seeing our neighbors who haven’t been vaccinated who go to the hospital have a serious illness due to COVID. Right now, with no mandate among our state employees, we’re at a 67% vaccination rate and that’s as high as California, where they have a vaccine mandate among their state employees that they’re not doing a good job of implementing.

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We think we have the right approach. The key to the mandate is that the government need not be in the business of making mandates just yet in this current environment. The employer should have his own decision. We should not ban them. We shouldn’t need them. It is the way of business and the best way for our employers to work.

we will lose [state workers] For the private sector, which does not have a mandate in most of its environment, it has its own capacity to make decisions based on the needs of their industry. And so, yes, if we implement that mandate, we will lose valuable workers, but that will increase resistance across the state. And so we were making a lot of progress until the mandate debate started and that slowed our progress on vaccination.

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