Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson urged large businesses in the state not to comply with the Biden administration’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate, saying employers should not follow the “oppressive” rule hours before the order is set to partially go into effect.
“They should wait until they get the Supreme Court decision, and of course that’s an individual business decision,” Hutchinson, a Republican, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday when asked if large businesses should comply with the rule, which his state and others are challenging before the nation’s highest court.
“This mandate of (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the federal government, needs to be struck down and that’s why we’re fighting against it,” he added. “I expect the Supreme Court hopefully to rule against the Biden administration on that oppressive vaccine mandate.”
Hutchinson on Sunday said he does not think the vaccine mandate is the right policy for this moment because it will cause a spike in worker shortages and an increase in vaccine resistance. He did, however, say he will support businesses who wish to impose such a policy, but added that it should not be required.
“Our employers in Arkansas, some make the decision that they ought to have a vaccine requirement in the workplace. And I support their ability to make that decision. There shouldn’t be a ban against that,” Hutchinson said.
“But others make the decision that it’s not necessary. Maybe they work in a more open environment or they have a risk of losing too many employees. And so they have that freedom,” he added.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Friday about the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandate, which will apply to businesses with 100 or more employees. A group of 10 states, including Arkansas, filed a lawsuit against the vaccine and testing requirement in November, arguing that such a policy is “unconstitutional and unlawful.”