Democratic candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor calls on Republican rival to disclose vaccination status

Democratic candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor calls on Republican rival to disclose vaccination status
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Democratic Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial nominee Hala Ayala on Thursday called on her Republican rival, Winsome Sears, to disclose her COVID-19 vaccination status after she declined to do so in a recent interview.

In a press call, Ayala told reporters that Sears is “an anti-science extremist who refuses to say whether or not she’s vaccinated and puts the lives of Virginians at risk.”

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Ayala argued that real leadership is leading by example, and Sears should share her vaccination status with the people she is seeking to represent.

In a recent interview with CNN, Sears declined to say whether or not she is vaccinated for COVID-19.

"My life is very public,” Sears said. “It's just the way it is. But I want to hold certain things close," arguing that to do otherwise leads to a "slippery slope."

"What are we going to ask for now? HIV status? What else are we going to ask for?" she added. "We have to be very careful. We live in a freedom-loving society, America. And if we're not careful, we're going to start asking for other things, because we have already determined that this is everybody's business."

The subject of COVID-19 vaccinations has been a frequent topic in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, where Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin have clashed over mandates. McAuliffe has said he would support certain employer vaccination mandates, while Youngkin has called vaccines “the best way for people to keep themselves safe,” and encouraged Virginians to get vaccinated, but opposes mandates. Youngkin has disclosed he has been vaccinated for COVID-19.

Renzo Olivari, Terry for Virginia spokesman, said in a statement, "It has been clear for months now that if anti-vaccine advocate Glenn Youngkin and his ticket had their way, our schools would be closing, children would be sick and quarantined, and our economy would be in the ditch.”

“Terry McAuliffe is the only candidate with a real plan to end this pandemic, keep kids safe, and give every Virginia child a world-class education,” Olivari said.

Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter fired back, accusing McAuliffe of “going full Handmaid's Tale.”

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“He’s a wannabe dictator who wants to interrogate women about what they do with their own bodies and fire them from their jobs if they don’t let him dictate their personal health care decisions,” Porter said in a statement. “Glenn Youngkin continues to encourage every Virginian to choose to join him in getting the COVID vaccine because it’s the best way to save lives.”

A spokesperson for the Sears campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Tags: News, Terry McAuliffe, Glenn Youngkin, Vaccination, pandemic, Virginia

Original Author: Kate Scanlon

Original Location: Democratic candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor calls on Republican rival to disclose vaccination status

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