Political News

Arkansas governor defends no stay-at-home statewide order as 'successful'

Posted April 12, 2020 10:44 a.m. EDT

— Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Sunday defended his decision not to issue a statewide stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying that his "targeted approach" has proven to be effective.

"If we need to do more, we will do more," the Republican governor told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." "So that's always an option on the table if we have to shelter in place. But right now, what we're doing proves to be successful, this targeted approach."

Arkansas is one of a handful of GOP-led states that has not issued stay-at-home orders for its residents, which the majority of US states have implemented to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Hutchinson said he does not believe Arkansas needs to issue a statewide order because of its low density in population. He pointed to his actions in declaring a public emergency when Arkansas had its first confirmed case of coronavirus, closing the state's schools and increasing testing.

"We have masks and social distancing and the people of Arkansas have embraced that. That gives you success," Hutchinson said, adding that he believes the state's "tough time is behind and we're going to be getting better."

Hutchinson announced on March 11 that Arkansas had its first confirmed case of coronavirus.

As of Sunday morning, the state currently has more than 1,200 cases and at least 25 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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