Vaccination mandate debate trickling into VA gubernatorial race

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The heated debate over Virginia’s vaccine mandate for college students coming into the 2021-2022 college 12 months at public schools and universities throughout the state is beginning to trickle down into native politics, together with the race for governor.

In line with an e mail to college students obtained by Fox Information, Virginia Tech’s president Tim Sands states that unvaccinated college students should not welcome on campus for the Fall 2021 semester. 

“Though we wish to be sure that all of our college students have the most effective expertise attainable, no pupil is required to attend Virginia Tech.” He then lists different choices, together with “opting out” all through the pandemic or transferring to a different establishment with extra lenient vaccination necessities.

State legal professional basic Mark Herring issued a authorized opinion in April stating that schools have the authorized authority to require vaccines for in-person attendance on public college campuses.

Public college universities have began to take motion on the legal professional basic’s steerage. 

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Virginia Tech’s web site states that “mandating vaccination is a vital step towards easing campus restrictions and returning to in-person actions and occasions.”

“It will be important that the Virginia Tech group is vaccinated and it’s required that everybody who’s vaccinated submit proof of vaccination.”

On account of universities implementing the legal professional basic’s steerage, state senator Bryce Reeves despatched a letter to all of Virginia’s school and college presidents strongly encouraging them to not require proof of vaccination for college students to attend within the Fall.

Reeves writes that faculties should settle for non secular perception exemptions for college students and perceive that many Virginians stay petrified of the vaccine. As well as, science reveals COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are at report lows all through the state. 

Because the state’s race for governor heats up, the 2 candidates are delicately weighing in on whether or not or not they might assist the present authorized steerage by the state to mandate vaccines.  

Macaulay Porter, a spokesperson for Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin’s marketing campaign, informed Fox Information that he “believes that vaccines must be out there to all Virginians however to mandate vaccines is a step too far. As governor, Glenn won’t enable or assist vaccine mandates.”

Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe’s marketing campaign didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark from Fox Information. 

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President Biden is about to affix McAuliffe on the marketing campaign path in northern Virginia on the finish of subsequent week. Whereas he hasn’t explicitly acknowledged assist for requiring vaccine mandates, the president has been supportive of widespread vaccine use, together with a “door-to-door” method.

Biden’s HHS secretary Xavier Becerra just lately got here beneath fireplace for saying that it’s “completely the federal government’s enterprise” to know the vaccination statuses of People.

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