So here’s a squib from yet another appearance by Governor Hutchinson on Meet the Press.


Has Donald Trump mentioned an Arkansas rally? No, it was just a hypothetical question during an interview.

If he did, there’d be rules to deal with, whether for an indoor or outdoor facility, with capacity limits and mandated distances between performer and audience and between audience members.  Masks would be required except that, at outdoor venues, masks could be removed by audience members once seated and six feet away from the closest person. (Family groups may sit closer together.)


Hutchinson, pressed by Andrea Mitchell, said more masks probably should have been worn at the Trump rally at Mount Rushmore. But he said it and the July 4 celebration in Washington were “controlled environments” and outdoors. He also volunteered that the Rushmore event “inspired many” and had been months in the making by the South Dakota governor. He also said the country had “virus fatigue.”

Hutchinson repeated his familiar mantra against a mask mandate. He believes people should wear masks when they can’t maintain distance. But there must be balance in policies, he said, “You have to live life. You can’t stop every activity.”


Hutchinson still won’t allow even cities that want to require face masks to pass ordinances with an enforcement mechanism. (Although on Meet the Press he made it sound like the model city ordinance he announced last week he’d permit was a “mandate.” It has no enforcement provision.)

He did say, under persistent questioning, that he’d insist on following Arkansas guidelines should Trump hold a rally in Arkansas.

Other governors have changed their mind, Mitchell noted. Hutchinson said Arkansas had adjusted and was responding to a rise in cases. He didn’t specify how, except to mention more testing and tracing. The state has not reimposed stricter limits or added new ones.

And PS on Hutchinson’s claim that testing and tracing is the way to go:


Maybe, if only Arkansas wasn’t failing at that too. Good explanation from Arkansas COVID. The problem: Shortage of supplies means delayed test results; we are woefully understaffed with tracers, public compliance with tracing and isolation is poor.