McAuliffe, Youngkin call on Virginians to get vaccinated, but disagree about mandates

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 10:40 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The race between Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin to become Virginia’s next governor is very contentious. But believe it or not, there’s one thing they do agree on.

Both candidates spoke with NBC29 about how they would manage COVID-19 as governor, and while their approaches are different, they’re both urging Virginians to get their vaccination.

With the Delta variant raging and cases rising, COVID is here to stay. It’s certainly an issue voters will consider at the ballot box. Both Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate, and his Republican counterpart Glenn Youngkin hope that when they do cast their votes, they’ll be vaccinated.

“Every single individual needs to get the vaccination,” McAuliffe said. “The only way we’re going to end this pandemic - the only way - is if we get people vaccinated.

“The best way for people to be to be safe in Virginia is to go get the vaccine,” Youngkin said. “I would encourage everybody to go get it. I wouldn’t mandate it. But I would encourage everyone to go get it.”

The concept of mandates is where the two rivals differ. McAuliffe is calling on all healthcare providers to require the shot.

“I want to build the strongest economy in the globe,” he said. “You cannot do that if this pandemic continues to ravage your workforce and cause all of those issues.”

Youngkin says he’s against mandates and that he’ll leave masking and vaccination decisions up to each company.

“We’re not going to have some businesses that are allowed to be open and others that are closed, we’re going to keep everybody open,” he said. “And we’re going to let businesses decide how best to conduct their business when they’re open.”

Youngkin says he’s the one who will take care of both “lives and livelihood”, and he won’t shut down the commonwealth.

Meanwhile, McAuliffe pushed back on Youngkin’s COVID recovery economic strategies.

“You look at my plan - I’m going to lift everybody up,” McAuliffe said. “Record investments in education. I did it before, we’ll do it again.”

As for schools, McAuliffe wants to follow CDC guidance.

Youngkin says masking decisions should not be mandated from Richmond.

”I would strongly encourage the local school districts to allow the students and their families to make those decisions on their behalf, because it should be up to parents,” Youngkin said.

Here are some ways you can get vaccinated, including resources in the Charlottesville area:

Find COVID-19 vaccines on

UVA Health COVID vaccination clinic

Blue Ridge Health District vaccination scheduler

Call the BRHD COVID-19 Hotline 434-972-6261

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