It seems after reading an op-ed piece by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the lead Republican gubernatorial candidate in the 2023 race for Arkansas's Governor, the most loyal fans of former President Donald Trump need to be 'dog-whistled' with platitudes for their former leader's work on the covid front, to line up for vaccinations.
I say I hope this works, for those still remaining not vaccinated, better than incentives such as lottery tickets or a voucher for a free hunting or fishing license.
The administration of former President Donald J. Trump should be commended, along with medical experts and the medical industry all over the globe, for developing the covid vaccine.
Yes, and it is an honor not given lightly, former President Trump and his administration should be congratulated for pushing for the vaccine's development.
The administration of President Joseph R. Biden should also be congratulated for inoculating now more than 50 percent of the American public. The Biden administration and the guiding health agencies should also be congratulated for a positive approach to getting the vaccine not only to Americans but trying to get it to nations across the globe to vaccinate its citizens.
So why, if both men, Donald J. Trump and Joseph R. Biden (and other millions of Americans), have volunteered to take the free vaccine) are not more in Arkansas getting vaccinated?
That is a question which plagues and frustrates our current governor, Asa Hutchinson. (And it is a question that frustrates me as well).
The governor spoke on Friday at Siloam Springs about getting more Arkansans, both men and women, especially younger men and younger women, to roll up their sleeves and get the free shot.
I know of no other Arkansas governor in the history of this state who has talked more about a public pandemic and done more to try to achieve success in lowering the infection, hospitalization and yes, even lowering the death rate of Arkansans than Asa Hutchinson and his administration.
A year ago, I wrote a column, in this same space, where the governor says he will not think of economic stability during this pandemic, but instead go all out, to save lives. That nothing he can do is more important than trying to save Arkansans from this infection, its medical strife on the body and keep Arkansans from dying.
He has traversed this state talking about the covid infections. He has never stopped talking about the hospitalization rates, the toil on our medical teams of doctors, nurses and even non-medical hospital employees. He has never taken his eyes off the climbing death rate -- which topped 6,000 recently and is headed quickly to another unknown numerical plateau.
Why? Oh why? Do thousands of Arkansans allow fictional, dangerous fears, lies and downright deadly mistruths about the vaccine proliferate?
As I have said before, former President Trump was himself vaccinated.
So was President Joe Biden. So was Gov. Asa Hutchinson. I too have been vaccinated.
Our governor and I agree on more things than we disagree upon. I know full well he, just like me, would take a "booster shot" to stem this tide if medical experts said we needed to do so.
He would, just like me, discuss anyone's fears of taking the vaccine, if those protesting can calm down and present some real scientific and medical reasons for not wanting the vaccine.
But he and I cannot abide someone taking a horse wormer on a cracker every night for a week and think they have found their own cure to the covid.
I'll wear a mask out in public until the infection rates for this delta variant of the covid infection go down, despite what a terribly misinformed state senator from El Dorado espouses about "personal freedoms."
Cities, school districts and other crucial everyday public boards have an oath to uphold to serve their communities. They should take that oath seriously at the local level if we are to be on a path to quell this resurgence of covid.
I want to see children back in school -- safely. I would like to see Friday night football again -- safely. And yes, I would love to know that the Hogs can play all sports on a full schedule -- safely.
I'll keep wearing a mask. I'll take another shot, if needed.
-- Maylon Rice is a former journalist who worked for several northwest Arkansas publications. He can be reached via email at [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.