McAuliffe campaign to require staff to get coronavirus vaccine

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe speaks to supporters at a primary night party on June 8
Greg Nash

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s (D) gubernatorial campaign announced Monday that all staff will be required to receive the full coronavirus vaccine as the virus’s delta variant rages in parts of the country. 

“In the interest of public health and the safety and wellbeing of our team, Terry for Virginia has made the decision to require full vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of employment with the campaign,” McAuliffe’s campaign manager Chris Bolling said in a statement. 

“The only way we’re going to truly end this pandemic and keep our economy strong is by getting every eligible Virginian vaccinated as quickly as possible,” he continued. “The health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, supporters and volunteers is our top priority, and this is another important step to protect our community and get through this pandemic.”

McAuliffe’s GOP opponent, Glenn Youngkin, has not said whether he will require his staff to receive the vaccine. Youngkin encouraged Virginia voters to get the vaccine in a tweet earlier this month but added that they have the right to make that decision on their own. 

“Data show the COVID vaccine saves lives. That’s why I chose to get the vaccine,” Youngkin tweeted. “Virginians have the right to decide for themselves, but if you are in a high-risk category, I especially encourage you to get vaccinated.”

The debate over vaccine mandates has fallen along party lines as cases of the delta variant surge among unvaccinated Americans. More than a dozen House Democrats have asked the Capitol physician to require proof of vaccination or at least twice-weekly testing on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin released a memo on Monday announcing that the Pentagon would require all military personnel to get vaccinated by Sept. 15. 

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