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hindsight is 20/20

Arkansas governor admits he regrets signing mask mandate ban into law

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Tuesday said he regrets signing into law a ban that prevents state and local governments from implementing mask mandates. The walkback comes as Arkansas experiences one of the worst surges of COVID-19 cases in the country and infections spike among children aged 12 and under who are unable to get vaccinated, reports Newsweek and Little Rock's THV 11.

Hutchinson said he signed Act 1002 into law a few months ago because "cases were at a low point" and he "knew that it would be overridden by the legislature" if he didn't. But "everything has changed now, and yes, in hindsight, I wish that had not become law." 

Now, the governor has asked the general assembly to amend the law so local school districts with students under 12 can implement mask mandates if desired. Hutchinson said he is still not in favor of a statewide mask mandate.

When asked why the amendment he supports didn't include schools with students older than 12, Hutchinson replied, "Because there's a remedy for them. They need to get vaccinated."

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