As Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) joined his statewide vaccination tour to meet with unvaccinated residents in person, more has been learned of how skeptical people can be about the doses.
Making vaccine hesitancy a priority to counter, Hutchinson, on July 7, decided to go around the state to meet the unvaccinated residents himself and hopefully somehow convince them to open their hearts to the doses via face-to-face conversations.
By far, the most common opinion about the vaccines that Hutchinson faced was the low trust in what has been promoted by the U.S. government.
Harvey Woods from Texarkana, a 67-year-old self-claimed anti-vaxxer, asserted that the federal government’s information about the doses was not adequate to clarify his many questions about their effects.
Then came 66-year-old Nathan Grant of Batesville, who said he could not trust anything that came out from Washington.
“They haven’t shot straight with us. The CDC hasn’t shot straight with us. Fauci hasn’t shot straight with us. They’ve changed their stories multiple times,” said Grant, according to the Associated Press.
Both men tested positive for the CCP Virus last year and have continued to resist the call for getting the jabs.
By this level of concern, conducting some self-research may not help much considering how the online world would be as chaotic as ever with a mixture of valid and invalid information.
To address that, Hutchinson and his top health official could only say, “Let me make sure it’s clear. I’m not asking you to trust the government,” he told the Texarkana audience, advising that people should find professional opinion either from doctors or medical professionals, as long as they do not opt for conspiracy theories.
Arkansas is among the states that have low vaccination rates and, at the same time, are seeing an escalation of new infections. As of July 16, while the state reported a 7-days average of 1,017 infections, only 35.3% of its population have been fully vaccinated, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It was not clear how successful Hutchinson’s team had been with his talk, but one resident from Texarkana has indeed changed her mind, and it was not because they fixed her damaged trust in the government.
“What they said in there scared me,” said Teresa Cox, who said she did not believe the White House’s chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci. “I have been anti-vaccine all along, but I have also been on a ventilator three times, and I don’t want to be back on a ventilator. You don’t forget it.”
Newsweek argued that Hutchinson’s vaccination tour was not so different from president Biden’s idea of the door-to-door suggestion, which would not seek to coerce unvaccinated people to get the jabs against their will, but rather to give them a talk that hopefully might get them to change their mind.