March 21, 2021

"Common sense"... something Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is clearly lacking. The Republican governor was asked by CNN's Dana Bash about Dr. Anthony Fauci's warnings about the more dangerous COVID variants and his decision to allow the mask mandate in his state to expire at the end of the month, and here's how he responded.

HUTCHINSON: I anticipate that we will lift the mask mandate. I set a goal that if we have low hospitalizations and continue to reduce our cases, positivity rate is low, then we can lift the mask mandate. So, I set some goals and we're making those goals, so I expect that to be lifted.

It's not going to take away from the seriousness of the virus and we've got to continue to pay attention. If you just look at the NCAA basketball tournament and the fact that we had one team that was not able to complete the tournament, which is such a sad occasion, but it reminds us that the virus is still there.

So even though we take away the mask mandate, we're still going to make sure we do everything that we can to protect ourselves and others and recognize the virus is still there.

After Bash interrupted and asked Hutchinson whether wearing masks was "number one when it comes to mitigation" and why he'd take that away, Hutchinson continued.

HUTCHINSON: Well, you made the point just perfectly. We're a year into this. We know so much more today than we did a year ago and so we had to educate. People understand the importance of the mask, and I expect even though we take the mask mandate away, that people will continue to use the mask when you cannot socially distance and whenever there is a risk of a virus.

So common sense is going to replace mandates and I think that's where we are right now.

You cannot go beyond the toleration of the American public. And it's not just the mask mandate. It is business restrictions. We've lifted the business restrictions in Arkansas. We are going to school as we have all year long with in-classroom instruction. And people need this. President Biden has recognized that. You can do all of that and at the same time take the virus seriously.

Yeah, good luck with that. People have already proven that they're not taking the virus seriously, and it's the wild, wild west in the areas that have lifted mandates and done nothing but make life dangerous for anyone still attempting to do the right thing and enforce mask mandates on their own.

Hutchinson also called vaccine hesitancy among Trump supporters "a natural resistance to government" and blamed the skepticism to receiving the coronavirus vaccine on that, rather than where it belongs, which is squarely on Trump and his enablers on Fox and other right-wing media outlets that have done their best to politicize mask wearing and vaccinations from the get-go.

Hutchinson's remarks on "common sense" replacing mask mandates was met with the scorn it deserved on Twitter.

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