Govs Explain How They Finally Came Around To Issuing Statewide Mask Mandates

on April 2, 2013 in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 02: Former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson announces the recommendations of the NRA backed National School Shield Program regarding school security during a press conference April 2, 2013 at the Nati... WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 02: Former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson announces the recommendations of the NRA backed National School Shield Program regarding school security during a press conference April 2, 2013 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Among other findings, the report recommended training and placing armed personnel in public schools following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) MORE LESS
July 19, 2020 5:45 p.m.
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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) on Sunday explained why they issued statewide mask mandates in the past week after their initial reluctance to do so.

As President Trump continues to resist the notion of issuing a nationwide mask mandate amid spikes in coronavirus cases throughout the country, Hutchinson’s and Polis’ explanations of their change of heart regarding mask-wearing requirements comes the same day that NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins expressed that how “bizarre” it is to turn mask mandates into a political debate.

“How could it be that something as basic as a public health action that we have very strong evidence can help seems to attach to people’s political party?” Collins said on MSNBC Sunday morning.

Hutchinson and Polis appeared to echo Collins’ sentiment during Sunday morning interviews on ABC News as well by expressing their dismay over the political debate that has ensued over mask-wearing requirements.

Here’s what Hutchinson and Polis had to say:

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R)

After saying that he does not support a national mask mandate, Hutchinson was pressed by ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on his thoughts regarding how partisan the issue of mask-wearing has become.

Hutchinson, who initially resisted a issuing a statewide mask mandate and a stay-at-home order earlier in the pandemic, said that the mask-wearing requirements “shouldn’t be about politics” before adding that governors ordered mask mandates “based upon the circumstances of our state.”

“It’s not popular. It’s not something we want to do. It’s not the first lever we pull,” Hutchinson said. “But it is one that, when the data says it’s necessary, we do it.”

Hutchinson then argued that a statewide mask mandate is the “right approach” because it will help Arkansas reopen schools and to “keep our economy moving.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D)

Polis similarly told Raddatz that Colorado’s statewide mask mandate is “not partisan” and masks are “a ticket to more freedom.”

“It makes it less likely that businesses will be shuttered. It makes it less likely that people will die. It makes it more likely school will return,” Polis said. “If we care about those things, you’re going to take that as a matter of personal responsibility to protect yourself, protect others, protect our economy.”

Polis went on to explain his earlier reluctance to issuing a statewide mask mandate, which he said centered around not wanting to tell people “what to do in their lives.” However, Polis said that “we simply found that they work” after reviewing data from cities and counties in Colorado that issued local mask mandates.

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