Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson Says He Regrets Law Banning Mask Mandates

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks about the coronavirus pandemic and vaccine distributions during a news conference at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. Responding to concerns from state officials, the U.S. Treasury Department said Wednesday, March 17, 2021 that states can cut taxes without …
AP Photo/Andrew Demillo

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said Wednesday that he regrets enacting a law that banned mask mandates as the number delta variant coronavirus cases continues to climb across the United States.

A partial transcript is as follows:

REPORTER: Can you talk a little bit about why you decided to sign the bill? Do you regret it now? Why did you think it was a good decision to sign it at the time?

GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON: I signed it at the time because our cases were at a very low point. I knew it would be overwritten [sic] by the legislature if I didn’t sign it. I had already eliminated our statewide mask mandate. I signed it for those reasons. Our cases were at a low point. Everything has changed now and yes, in hindsight, I wish that had not become law. But it is the law and the only chance we have is either to amend it or for the courts to say it has an unconstitutional foundation.

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