'What's in the Vaccine?': Arkansas Locals Confront Gov. Asa Hutchinson in Town Hall

Angry constituents confronted Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson during a town hall event last week as he pushed for greater take-up of COVID-19 vaccinations in the state.

Hutchinson, a Republican, was met with skepticism and hostility at an event in Siloam Springs, Arkansas on July 30 as he spoke to residents of the state in an effort to tackle vaccine hesitancy.

Around 48 percent of Arkansas residents had received at least one dose of vaccine as of August 4, according to data compiled by the Springfield News-Leader. The state is dealing with a spike in COVID cases.

Footage from Hutchinson's town hall that aired on MSNBC on Wednesday shows two attendees questioning COVID vaccinations and others appearing to agree or applaud their comments.

One man asks Hutchinson: "What's in the vaccine? Give me the insert sheet."

Others in attendance appear to cheer at the question and there is some applause.

The man goes on: "If Mr. Doctor gives me a vial and says 'trust me,' I'll give you a vial and you trust me."

The ingredients for the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available online from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.

In another clip from the town hall, a woman claims that doctors should be using therapeutics to treat COVID-19 and tells the governor that vaccines will not save lives.

1/ PROFOUNDLY DISTURBING clips from a town hall with Arkansas @AsaHutchinson.

Q: What's in the vaccine?

A: Here are full ingredient lists:
Pfizer: https://t.co/ZgpaqcIlzg
Moderna: https://t.co/j5uf4uErLB
J&J: https://t.co/qsjEO8s4gg pic.twitter.com/OR9sSANR7x

— Céline Gounder, MD, ScM, FIDSA (@celinegounder) August 4, 2021

"If doctors were allowed to tell the truth and treat their patients with therapeutics, we would not have hospitals full of sick people dying, OK? Don't forget me, governor," she says.

"What works? What will save lives, governor? And it's not the vaccine," the woman adds.

Several others attending the town hall also questioned the vaccines while one man said he wasn't sure COVID-19 was real, according to a Friday report from the Arkansas Times.

Hutchinson reportedly remained calm throughout the proceedings. He's holding "community COVID conversations" in order to encourage greater uptake of the vaccines.

On Tuesday, Hutchinson said he regretted signing a bill that prevented state and local government authorities from implementing mask mandates, telling a media briefing he wished the ban "had not become law."

In July, Hutchinson spoke to CNN about vaccine hesitancy and discussed his experience discussing the subject in town hall meetings.

"As I go into these town hall meetings, someone said, 'Don't call it a vaccine, call it a bioweapon.' And they talk about mind control," he said. "Well, those are obviously erroneous. Other members of the community correct that."

Newsweek has asked Governor Asa Hutchinson's office for comment.

Asa Hutchinson Speaks at the 2016 RNC
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) delivers a speech on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Hutchinson was confronted with angry constituents last week while promoting COVID-19 vaccines. Alex Wong/Getty Images