Arkansas Gov. Calls on CDC to Give Clear Guidance for Moving COVID to Endemic Arkansas GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson (Kelly Kissel/AP)
By Nicole Wells | Monday, 31 January 2022 06:14 PM
Arkansas GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson called Monday for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide clear guidance to the states that will allow them to transition from COVID-19 pandemic status to endemic status, according to The Hill.
"We need the CDC to help us to have the right standards to end this pandemic and move to more endemic status," Hutchinson said during a meeting of the National Governors Association with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and other governors.
"And so that's an important element that we as governors, in a bipartisan way, hope that the CDC can be helpful to define that more clearly," Hutchinson, who chairs the association, continued. "We want to go from today to more normal."
The governors had met earlier in the day with Jeff Zients, the head of the White House COVID-19 response team.
"We've got a way to go on that, in my view, but we're moving," Biden said, referring to the pandemic. "I think it's all about making sure we have the same standards we're applying across the board."
Hutchinson thanked Biden for his commitment to "try like the devil to keep schools open."
At a Monday briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters the current state of the pandemic and restrictions are not "the new normal," adding the country is still seeing high rates of hospitalizations and infections.
Recent polls have shown much of the public has grown frustrated and weary of the pandemic two years after the initial cases were reported in the United States.
The latest Monmouth University poll found 70% of Americans agree with the sentiment that "it's time we accept that COVID is here to stay and we just need to get on with our lives," including 78% of those who report having gotten COVID and 65% of those who say they have not been infected.
Often partnering with the White House on COVID messaging, the Arkansas governor has urged vaccinations in a conservative state and praised Biden for his efforts to depoliticize the pandemic.