The state is bereft of political leadership and short on common sense.

Leaders of the House and Senate say there’s no point in convening the legislature because the members won’t repeal the state ban on local control of masking. Governor Hutchinson, in Washington to burnish his image for some future endeavor, said people just need to understand Arkansas is a Southern, rural, conservative state and so if people want to send their sick kids to school without masks, well, you just have to understand the culture.

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That culture has served us well to date, has it not? We’re No. 1 in a deadly disease!

Other governors, even Republican ones, aren’t reluctant to speak plainly.

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Said Ivey:

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“Media, I want you to start reporting the facts,” she said. “The new cases of COVID are because of unvaccinated folks. Almost 100 percent of the new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated folks. And the deaths are certainly occurring with the unvaccinated folks.”

And most of the unvaccinated intend to stay that way if this depressing CNN report from Polk County is an indication. It features a nurse undone by what she’s seen caring for the sick and what she’s heard from Fox News-addled locals, some featured with 30 Percent Trent bromides about freedom and virus skepticism. It’s eight minutes of on-the-ground reporting and it illustrates as well as anything I’ve seen the uphill battle faced by those who believe medical authorities who say more shots and more masks mean a healthier Arkansas.