In a joint news release on January 7, Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin and Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares declared their opposition to federal vaccine mandates. The Biden administration has promulgated such requirements for healthcare workers. Employees of private industry firms with over 100 workers would face such mandates too or else face weekly testing.
Their announcement came as the US Supreme Court was hearing oral arguments against those mandates. Currently over two dozen states are fighting the Biden administration’s demands. The opposition from incoming Republicans Youngkin and Miyares is in stark contrast to outgoing Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, who as Democrats supported such requirements from Washington.
Youngkin and Miyares had opposed mandates while on the campaign trail last summer and fall, and today’s announcement signals a move from “campaign promise” to “policy position.”
Both Youngkin and Miyares have repeatedly praised the vaccine and encouraged individuals to get it. However, they draw the line at the jab being forced.
“Instead of supporting state and local governments’ efforts to protect the lives and livelihoods of their citizens, the Biden administration has resorted to unlawful vaccine mandates that force hardworking Virginians to walk away from their paychecks,” Youngkin and Miyares said in the statement.
“While we believe that the vaccine is a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19, we strongly believe that the federal government cannot impose its will and restrict the freedoms of Americans and that Virginia is at its best when her people are allowed to make the best decisions for their families or businesses,” they added.
The incoming Youngkin/Sears/Miyares administrations will take their oaths of office and begin official duties on Saturday, January 15, at the State Capitol in Richmond.