Gov. Asa Hutchinson was again asked on national TV today to defend his lifting of coronavirus restrictions in Arkansas as the cases are rising. This time, the venue was ABC’s Good Morning America and his answers were similar to those on Fox News Sunday, though today he said he might consider ratcheting up controls if problems were linked to eased restrictions.
He got a rough review from another website for his remarks Sunday.
Crooks and Liars took note of a new talking point and it wasn’t complimentary.
It shared a view I’d expressed earlier. That was about his line that “cloistering at home is just contrary to the American spirit.” If jumping in a tornado shelter to avoid loss of life is un-American, call me Danish.
Crooks and Liars put it this way:
The American Spirit doesn’t tell you to spread a pandemic to your fellow man all because you want to go to the gym.
So he tried to outdo the myopic Rick Scott of Florida saying, “I make the comparison with, you can be in an automobile and it’s very risky, but you can manage the risk by wearing a seat-belt.”
Duh! It took people years to finally acquiesce on wearing seat belts. It took laws and tickets to get some to comply. And if you get in a car and DO NOT wear a seat belt, it doesn’t infect your community with a virus.
The website also criticized Hutchinson for saying you “manage risk” by increasing testing after Chris Wallace asked him about the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.
Of course, but that means the virus is still spreading even worse then he suspected.
Testing is excellent for trying to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean it’s under control and leaves people free to coalesce in groups.
Chris Wallace brought up the new spread of the virus in Arkansas when kids were at a pool party, and Hutchison replied that it’s a matter of self-discipline.
Obviously teenagers, kids, and yes, many adults have no self-discipline or are just refusing to adhere to safe distance restrictions because right-wing outlets and Trump tell them to.
As a governor following Donald Trump’s admonition to open things up in a state seeing a rise in coronavirus cases, Hutchinson got more air time on Good Morning America this morning on ABC.
He didn’t go to the American spirit again. But he again said the state had made the right decision for the economy in easing restrictions. And he insisted it was a phased approach that will allow the state to see where cases are coming from.
“We ask all our citizens to be responsible,” Hutchinson said. He said “by and large” most people are, but “it’s disappointing when we have a lack of discipline by a few outliers.”
He was pressed on easing restrictions and whether it might relate to the recent rise in cases. “I can’t attribute it on the data at this point,” he said.
He also was asked again about the high school swim party outbreak. He acknowledged there’d been irresponsible behavior and it was frustrating. But he said cameras don’t go to all the places where guidelines are being followed.
Of such circumstances, Hutchinson said: “We re-educate, we learn by experience but we dig in there real deep so that if we have an identity of one of the restrictions we lifted is causing an outbreak we can address it and we can tighten it up.”