Jan 9, 2022 - Health

Arkansas governor: Big businesses shouldn't comply with vaccine mandate

Asa Hutchinson, governor of Arkansas, during a  town hall to promote Covid-19 vaccinations at Arkansas State University Mountain Home (ASUMH) in Mountain Home, Arkansas, U.S., on Monday, July 16.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson during a COVID-19 vaccine promotion event in Mountain Home, Ark., in July last year. Photo: Liz Sanders/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said large businesses should not comply with the Biden administration's "oppressive" mandate for COVID-19 vaccinations or testing that's due to take effect Monday.

What he's saying: The Republican governor told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday the requirement "needs to be struck down" and urged Arkansas businesses with 100 or more employees affected by it to wait for the Supreme Court ruling on the matter.

  • "I expect the Supreme Court, hopefully, to rule against the Biden administration on that oppressive vaccine mandate," Hutchinson said in his interview with CNN's Jake Tapper.
  • "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 continued.
"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."

The big picture: The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case on Friday, and a majority of the justices indicated that they believed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's requirement was too broad, per Axios' Sam Baker.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have surged in Arkansas this month, with Hutchinson sending National Guard troops to assist with testing around the state.

  • Representatives from the Biden administration did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper: The fate of Biden's vaccine mandates is in the Supreme Court's hands

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