Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is under fire after saying he regrets signing a law banning mask mandates in schools amid the rise in COVID-19 cases fueled by the more transmissible Delta variant.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Hutchinson revealed he made a mistake by signing the mask mandate ban into law.

“I signed it at the time because our cases were at a very low point,” he said. “I knew it would be overwritten by the legislature if I didn’t sign it. Everything has changed now. And yes, in hindsight, I wish that had not become law.”

In April, Hutchinson, a Republican, signed a statewide ban on mask mandates. Although he stands by it since adults having the option to get vaccinated, he recognized that children don’t have the same choice.

“Local school districts are all different across the state, and they have different opinions on this, and they reflect different wishes of parents and their constituents,” he said.

“Local school districts should make the call, and they should have more options to make sure that their school is a safe environment during a very challenging time for education.”

On Wednesday, Hutchinson’s name became a trending topic on Twitter, with people bashing the governor for ignoring recommendations from experts and banning mask mandates.

“GOP Gov Asa Hutchinson of AR regrets law he signed banning mask mandates NOW that Covid cases continue to grow. This begs the question, who could’ve seen this coming?!? Scientists, medical professionals, humans with pulse and 1/2 a brain, my dog, people who read, the list goes on,” one person wrote.

Another person claimed Hutchinson realized his mistake far too late for his words of regret to be taken seriously.

“Hindsight is not good enough if you’re an elected official. People make mistakes. Ignoring seasoned medical professionals isn’t a mistake it’s a calculated choice that cost peoples’ lives. Asa Hutchinson murdered people, but in hindsight, he wishes he hadn’t,” the individual wrote.

Although Hutchinson is hoping to get rid of the mask mandate ban, both chambers would require a two-thirds vote to overturn the legislation before students return to school.

Positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have continued to rise in Arkansas amid low vaccination rates across the state.

Asa Hutchinson
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is pushing to create a separate holiday for Civil War icon Robert E. Lee, whose birthday is just four days apart from Martin Luther King's. Reuters