Governors

Youngkin’s Running Mate Winsome Sears Won’t Say If She’s Vaccinated

According to a new report from CNN, in the Virginia lieutenant governor’s race, Glenn Youngkin’s running mate Winsome Sears refused to say whether she was vaccinated — telling reporters to “leave people be” on vaccines (So much for Glenn’s PSA…).

Responding to these comments, Democratic candidate Hala Ayala said she hopes Sears “gets the vaccine if she hasn’t already,” articulating that vaccines are “about saving lives” and ending this “devastating” pandemic

Like his running mate, Youngkin has peddled vaccine misinformation and boasted that if elected he can remove Virginia’s vaccine requirement on “day one.” The Republican gubernatorial candidate has additionally used his vast fortune to fund anti-vaxxer down-ballot candidates in the commonwealth and was caught on a recording back in June encouraging college students to find “whatever reason” they can to opt-out of vaccine requirements

CNN: Virginia’s elections will be the most telling political test yet of stringent Covid policies

By Dan Merica | October 7, 2021

Key Points:

  • “No issue has defined Virginia’s statewide races more than how the Commonwealth’s government should fight the coronavirus, with the two gubernatorial candidates at the top of the ticket — Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe and Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin — routinely sparring over the usefulness of vaccine mandates, masks requirements and how to boost an economy impacted by the pandemic.”
  • “That clash continued Wednesday when McAuliffe, during an event in Charlottesville, said he was “all in on vaccinations” and saw his disagreements with Youngkin as ‘a real difference in this campaign.’” 
  • “But perhaps the contest that has exposed the most gapping divide between Democrats and Republicans in Virginia on Covid is the lieutenant governor race between Democrat Hala Ayala, a member of the commonwealth’s House of Delegates, and Republican Winsome Sears, a former member of the legislative body.”
  • “Still, Ayala avoided attacking Sears when asked about her comments on Wednesday. ‘I hope she gets the vaccine if she hasn’t already,’ Ayala said of Sears, adding that her push to get people vaccinated is ‘about saving lives’ during what has been a ‘devastating’ few years in Virginia. ‘We’re not going to stand by and allow it to continue,’ she said. ‘So, we need to get vaccinated. We definitely need to follow CDC guidance. And I don’t think this has to do with any politics. This is about public health and safety.’”
  • “While Youngkin has at times tried to moderate his position on vaccines, telling audiences he is vaccinated and urging people to get the shot even has he refuses to back mandates, his Republican running mate has said it was time to leave people be’ on vaccines and, in an interview with CNN, declined to say whether she is vaccinated.”
  • “The businessman-turned-politician has fought against vaccine mandates, suggesting instead that public pressure — like a public service announcement he has been running — from leaders like himself will increase vaccinations. But the fact that his own running mate has not disclosed her vaccination status points to the limited power to public service announcements and public pressure.”

Read the full report here

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