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GOP Governor Says He Did Not Want to Issue Statewide Mask Mandate but He 'Had To'

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There has been a push by many to federally mandate Americans to wear masks, and several states have already taken measures to implement it in their state.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) issued a statewide mask mandate in mid-July to require people within his state to wear a mask while in public in an effort to combat the coronavirus outbreak. His move came after his previous opposition to issuing a statewide order.

“That was something I didn’t want to do, but had to do,” Hutchinson told CNN.

In regards to the governor’s statewide mask mandate, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked during an interview on CNN Sunday evening if “the death toll would be lower” if the order was issued earlier.

“My approach was that we wanted to have everybody to wear a mask,” Hutchinson said, adding, “But, we finally got to the point we did need to put in the mandatory provision.”

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He added, “I think it was the right time for it. … So we can argue about when it should have started, but we really pushed for compliance, even before the actual mandate was in place.”

Watch the video below:

Hutchinson was also asked if he was considering any further measures to bring down the new daily cases in his state, to which he said, “Absolutely, every day we look at what more we can do to bring down the cases, to bring down our positivity rate.”

He noted the state is trying to “set the stage” so that schools can reopen in the fall. He added that they are trying to increase testing for COVID-19 because it is “so critical” for contact tracing.

Since there were 265 new COVID-19 cases reported on May 10 in Arkansas, the state has continued to see an increase in daily reported cases, according to the New York Times database. The state reached 990 new cases reported on July 24, dropping slightly to 642 new cases reported on July 26, and it has reported more than 400 deaths due to COVID-19.

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