Virginia’s Democrat gubernatorial candidate is calling on businesses in the commonwealth to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for their workers following the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday.
“Following the full FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine this morning, I’m calling on EVERY Virginia employer to require all eligible employees to be vaccinated,” McAuliffe said in a tweet. “We need every eligible Virginian to get vaccinated to beat this virus. Together, we’ll get it done.”
BREAKING: Following the full FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine this morning, I’m calling on EVERY Virginia employer to require all eligible employees to be vaccinated. We need every eligible Virginian to get vaccinated to beat this virus. Together, we'll get it done.
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) August 23, 2021
The former governor previously made similar statements at a fundraiser in Las Vegas less than two weeks prior, in which he argued that society should “make life difficult” for people who choose not to get the jab.
“We have 93 million Americans today that are not vaccinated, and we need to do everything that we possibly can,” he said. “And I tell my private businesses all the time, I hope you mandate vaccines for people coming in. Until we make it hard for people to get on planes or go to movie theaters, people just aren’t going to do it.”
Terry McAuliffe says he wants to "make life difficult" for Virginians who don't comply with his COVID vaccine mandate.
"Make it hard for people get on planes or go to movie theaters," he says. pic.twitter.com/jmsBermcUh
— Team Youngkin (@TeamYoungkin) August 23, 2021
Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin took to Twitter to push back on McAuliffe’s comments, saying he opposes any form of a vaccine mandate and that the choice to get vaccinated is a “personal decision.”
“Terry McAuliffe wants to ‘make life difficult’ for Virginians by issuing a government mandate that attempts to bully them into complying with what McAuliffe and the government thinks is best, and that will clearly evolve into closing down businesses & locking down Virginia again,” he said.
I made the choice to get vaccinated and encourage everyone to join me in doing that, but ultimately it is a personal decision to do so. https://t.co/UDLqEQvtLa
— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) August 23, 2021
If successful in his gubernatorial bid, McAuliffe’s proposed mandate would disproportionately affect minorities throughout Virginia. According to the Virginia Department of Health, African Americans are the least vaccinated racial group in the commonwealth, with only 51 percent of eligible citizens having received at least one dose of the shot. Vaccination rates among eligible whites remained slightly higher at 55.7 percent, with Hispanic Americans at 66.5 percent.
Demographics that saw the state’s highest vaccination rates include American Indians at 90.9 percent and Asian Americans at 75.8 percent.