Virginia’s governor-elect Glenn Youngkin says he won’t take action to prevent localities in the state from mandating the COVID jab or masks for their constituents.
“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,” he said during an interview over the weekend.
The comments from Youngkin aren’t the first time the Virginia Republican has seemingly shied away from going on offense against vaccine coercion efforts. When twice asked by the moderator during the first gubernatorial debate if he would challenge President Joe Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandate in court, Youngkin repeatedly avoided giving a direct answer to the question, instead simply saying, “I don’t believe that President Biden has the authority to dictate to everyone that we have to take the vaccine.” The then-candidate also declined to comment on whether he would encourage Virginia businesses to reject Biden’s vaccine coercion.
Most recently, the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) suspended the implementation and enforcement of its controversial vaccine mandate that would have required U.S. employers with 100 or more employees to force their workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4 or undergo weekly testing. The move came just days after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked the rule, arguing that the mandate “exposes [petitioners] to severe financial risk” and “threatens to decimate their workforces (and business prospects).”
“In the mine run of cases — a transportation department regulating trucking on an interstate highway, or an aviation agency regulating an airplane lavatory — this is generally well and good. But health agencies do not make housing policy, and occupational safety administrations do not make health policy,” the court said. “In seeking to do so here, OSHA runs afoul of the statute from which it draws its power and, likely, violates the constitutional structure that safeguards our collective liberty.”
At least 27 states, along with businesses and religious groups, have filed legal challenges against the mandate.