There he goes again. Governor Hutchinson has been interviewed for another appearance on national television to defend his unsuccessful approach to coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.
He’ll appear at 8 p.m. Sunday on Showtime’s political show, “The Circus.”
This episode deals with the supposed “growing” political division about vaccinations. This is the standard beltway media pitch these days, though the majority of adults have received the vaccination and a majority indicate support for vaccination requirements.
Not Hutchinson of course. He opposes mask mandates and vaccination “mandates,” even the Biden proposal to give people a choice at large businesses of getting a shot or producing a negative COVID test.
The record in Arkansas tells the story of Hutchinson’s approach. Low vaccination rate. High COVID rate. High death rate. An explosion of active cases in Arkansas schools.
Experience in the private sector shows that when businesses set such requirements for workers only a tiny percentage choose to give up work rather than get a shot. Houston Methodist Hospital, for example, had 153 of 26,000 employees resign or be fired over vaccinations. Is it really freedom to require 26,000 workers to be exposed to 153 knuckle draggers? This experience is being replicated all across business and industry. Businesses are happy to have the government require them to impose such rules. They’d prefer a healthy workforce.
The Showtime interview will talk — for the umpteenth time — about Hutchinson’s effort to make himself appear to be a reasonable Republican while pretty much going down the line in supporting GOP dogma. (Hutchinson’s interviewer wore a mask inside the governor’s office. The governor did not.)
No indication yet that Hutchinson’s approach has broad appeal in today’s Republican Party, save perhaps among moneybags who can find ways to cosset politicians after they leave public office, which Hutchinson will do at the end of 2022. Might some semblance of sanity return to Republican politics by 2024 should Hutchinson, by then 73, mount a race for president? Not if Donald Trump has anything to say about it.