Glenn Youngkin, the current Republican Governor-elect of Virginia, has put forth a statement that he will be seeking to outlaw local COVID-19 mandates when he takes office in January.
While Youngkin may be thinking about lifting a select few of the state-wide mandates once he takes office, the Governor-elect issued a statement to clarify himself over the weekend by stating that he would not stand in the way of any local government attempting to implement their own restrictions or mandates concerning COVID-19.
“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 stated to a local news source.
The incumbent who is slated to be replaced by Youngkin, Governor Ralph Northam (D), has put forth a requirement for all state employees to get vaccinated or be forcibly submitted to weekly testing. He has come close but stopped short of instilling similar measures for all healthcare workers or teachers. This is despite the fact that he supports local governments and the power of private businesses to install their own vaccine mandates or requirements.
Youngkin has been taken a stance that is very open about his opposition to vaccine mandates placed at a federal level, just like the recent order from President Joe Biden that tries to mandate vaccination of federal contractors and works, and going further to require that large companies either force weekly testing or vaccinate their employees against COVID-19. This past Wednesday, Old Uncle Joe’s mandate concerning large companies was suspended following an order from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in the wake of multiple lawsuits being drawn up concerning the new law.
The approach to COVID-19 mandates taken by Youngkin differed even from the likes of other Republican governors such as Greg Abbott in Texas and Ron DeSantis in Florida. Recently, Abbott and DeSantis have signed in new measures that seek to ban local governments from putting in place any COVID rules including rules such as mask or vaccine mandates.
This past Month, Florida issued a fine to Leon County of roughly $3.6 million for violations of state law concerning vaccine mandates. The county had incurred the infractions by firing dozens of works for refusing to get the vaccine.
“We are going to protect Florida jobs. We are not going to let people be fired because of a vaccine mandate,” Warned Desantis back in September in the wake of Leon County firing 14 people over their refusal to comply with the vaccine mandates. “You don’t just cast aside people who’ve been serving faithfully over this issue over, what’s basically a personal choice on their individual health. We cannot let these folks be cast aside. We cannot allow their jobs to be destroyed and their families and livelihoods, potentially, to be destroyed as well.”