Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson Wants You to Wear a Mask

Former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) discusses his assignment to head the NRA's program to bolster school security with armed guards in 2012.Jay Mallin/Zumapress.org

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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, called on more people to start wearing masks in his state. The statement comes as Arkansas faces a staggering uptick in positive test results and deaths from COVID-19.

“Primarily, it’s [the] individual responsibility of our citizens to do what is necessary and pull together,” Hutchinson said on CBS News’ Face the Nation. “Increase usage of masks.”

In July, Hutchinson signed an executive order requiring face coverings in the state. Arkansas has been one of only a handful of red states to implement such mandates, as the Trump White House continues to politicize the issue of wearing masks in order to curb the spread of the virus.

 

 

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

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