https://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/588931-gop-governor-says-large-businesses-should-not-comply-with

Arkansas Gov. Asa HutchinsonAsa HutchinsonGOP governor says large businesses should not comply with ‘oppressive’ vaccine mandate Sunday shows – Voting rights in the spotlight after Jan. 6 anniversary Hutchinson says ‘big lie’ supporters ‘not demonstrating leadership’ MORE (R) on Sunday said large businesses should not comply with the Biden administration’s “oppressive” vaccine or testing mandate.

“[T]his 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. And I expect the Supreme Court, hopefully, to rule against the Biden administration on that oppressive vaccine mandate,” Hutchinson told co-anchor Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperGOP governor says large businesses should not comply with ‘oppressive’ vaccine mandate Hutchinson says ‘big lie’ supporters ‘not demonstrating leadership’ Adams says Democratic Party has to be ‘radically practical’ in midterms MORE on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Asked if eligible businesses should comply with the vaccine-or-test mandate, which is set to take effect on Monday, Hutchinson said “no,” pointing to the pending litigation in the Supreme Court.

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.”

The conservative justices asked sharp questions regarding if a decades-old federal workplace statute provides the legal authority to impose the mandate.

The Biden administration first introduced the policy in September, which calls for employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. It could impact almost 80 million workers.

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 supports businesses who wish to impose such a policy — but said 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 conversation regarding vaccine mandates comes as the U.S. is seeing a nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases, largely driven by the highly transmissible omicron variant.

Roughly 74 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine tracker.

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