McAuliffe releases new ad tying Youngkin to Trump on coronavirus

Democratic Virginia gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe rolled out a new ad on Friday tying his Republican opponent, Glenn Youngkin, to former President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE's stances on coronavirus restrictions. 

The ad, titled "Seriously," was first seen by The Hill. 

"Like Donald Trump, Glenn Youngkin refuses to take coronavirus seriously," the ad's narrator says, citing Youngkin's opposition to vaccine and mask mandates. 

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The spot is the latest effort from Democrats to tie Youngkin to Trump, who lost the state in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. The former president endorsed Youngkin shortly after he won the Republican convention earlier this year. 

The ad comes as McAuliffe and his Democratic allies seek to make the debate over vaccine and mask mandates in Virginia a cornerstone part of their campaign messaging ahead of November's election. 

While McAuliffe has called for vaccine and mask mandates, Youngkin has stopped short of calling for the measures but has touted the importance of vaccinations. 

Youngkin responded to McAuliffe in a tweet on Friday, highlighting an ad released last month titled “Keep Virginia Open,” urging voters to get vaccinated but adding that he “respects” individuals making their own decision on the matter.

"This is silly. I released a PSA weeks ago highlighting the fact that the COVID vaccine saves lives, I chose to get the COVID vaccine, and asking Virginians to join me in getting vaccinated," Youngkin tweeted. "Why hasn’t Terry McAuliffe done that?"