Governor-elect Youngkin says he will not stop local governments from imposing mandates

Virginia’s Governor-elect, Glenn Youngkin, said although he won’t be mandating Covid-19 vaccinations or masks, he won’t stand in the way of local authorities from doing so.

Youngkin was interviewed one-on-one over the weekend where he claimed he wouldn’t stop local government officials from imposing mask or vaccine mandates. “Localities are going to have to make decisions the way the law works and that is going to be up to individual decisions but, again, from the governor’s office, you won’t see mandates from me,” he said.

During Youngkin’s gubernatorial campaign, he was labeled an “anti-vaxxer” after saying he disagreed with President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate and saying he wouldn’t mandate vaccines for Virginians. However, he claimed he is a strong supporter of the vaccine, saying, “I’ve gotten the vaccine; my family has gotten the vaccine. It’s the best way for people to keep themselves safe. And I in fact have asked everyone in Virginia to please get the vaccine. But I don’t think we should mandate it.”

The current governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, has required state employees to either get vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. However, although he voiced support for mandates within the private sector and local government, he hasn’t moved to implement them, nor has he required teachers or healthcare workers to be vaccinated.

Governors Greg Abbott (R-TX) and Ron DeSantis (R-FL), unlike Youngkin, have pushed to block any sort of mask or vaccine mandates within schools, government agencies, and businesses. A federal judge recently ruled that Abbot moving to block mandates was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and is preventing the order from being enforced.




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