Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin is setting himself apart from other Republican governors who have taken a hardline stance against vaccine mandates in their states. Instead, Youngkin, who is against vaccine mandates at the state level, said he will not block local governments from pushing their own Covid-19 health precautions, including 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,” Youngkin said in a recent interview, according to local media.
While it’s a reversal of outgoing Gov. Ralph Northam's position, who implemented a vaccine-or-test mandate for state employees, it does not go as far as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, both of whom have issued executive orders barring local governments from being able to issue vaccine requirements.
Youngkin has been supportive of Covid-19 vaccines, noting during a September debate that he is vaccinated and his family is as well.
“It’s the best way for people to keep themselves safe,” he argued. “And I, in fact, have asked everyone in Virginia to please get the vaccine. But I don't think we should mandate it.”
President Biden once said that too.
Some conservatives have been surprised by Youngkin's hands-off approach, with Revolver calling his position a "sickening betrayal."
How surprising. He's already disppointing. https://t.co/2VrBY2p3I2— Nick Searcy, INSURRECTIONAL FILM & TELEVISION STAR (@yesnicksearcy) November 18, 2021
Coward. https://t.co/v3vNqPbqXH— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) November 18, 2021
Pathetic. Let him hear from you. https://t.co/5uYwQvTpM1— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) November 18, 2021
Sad! What is the point of winning a monumental and surprising victory if you aren't going to change course and govern effectively? https://t.co/c13cfc83cE— Gavin Mario Wax ???? (@GavinWax) November 18, 2021