McAuliffe Pushes for Vaccine Mandates in Ashburn Visit

Gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe stumped at the Ashby Ponds retirement community Friday morning to highlight his call to the owners of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other residential facilities serving seniors to require COVID-19 vaccinations for employees.

In recent weeks, the Democratic nominee has made similar calls for vaccine mandates for health care workers, K-12 school divisions, and colleges.

The vaccination requirement is one element of hisnine-point planto support senior citizens in the commonwealth. His plan also includes efforts to lower medicine and medical costs and to promote opportunities for residents to age in place.

McAuliffe told the residents who filled an auditorium on the Ashburn campus Sept. 10 that he supports President Biden’s requirement for federal employees and contractors to be vaccinated.

“Listen folks, this is all about safety. The FDA has approved this vaccination. There is no reason now—if you have a legitimate religious or health issues, I get that, that’s a very tiny percent—but anyone else should get vaccinated. That’s how we keep each other safe,” he said.

He said the rapid spread of the Delta variant and the threat of vaccine-resistant strains developing increase the urgency to stamp out the virus.

“I’m very unhappy with these people who have chosen not to be vaccinated,” he said. “What’s the deal? It’s safe. I don’t want someone who is unvaccinated working in this residential facility and getting you sick, and then you can turn around and give it to your grandchildren who are under 12 and can’t get vaccinated.”

McAuliffe said vaccine mandates are among the issues that separate him from his Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin.

“The guy I’m running against, he does not believe in any of this,” he said. “He doesn’t believe in that people should be mandated to get the vaccinations. That’s a real difference this governor’s race. I’m trying to come with common sense.”

During a campaign eventin Lansdowne earlier in the weekYoungkin did not address vaccine mandates, but Ben Carson, a retired surgeon who served as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Trump administration and who faced a bout with COVID, laid out a case against them.

“You have government encroachment. This whole concept of mandates. This is a problem,” Carson said. “Because it’s a slippery slope and if the people like sheep gently follow their leaders and just do whatever they say, believe me there will be more and more mandates as time goes on.”

He advocated natural antibodies—generated through infections—as providing stronger immunity than vaccines and raised concerns about previously infected people having reactions to the vaccines. While he said elderly people should get vaccinated, he opposed mandates for children.

Gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (D) speaks to residents of Ashby Ponds in Ashburn on Sept. 10, 2021.

During a question-and-answer session with Ashby Ponds residents, McAuliffe repeatedly highlighted actions taken during his four-year term as Virginia’s 72ndgovernor in making the case for his return as its 74th.

He characterized Republican efforts to add abortion restrictions and oppose LBGTQ rights as hampering work to attract new businesses to the state.

“You can’t recruit the businesses of the 21st century if you are putting walls up around your state,” he said. “My point always was, I want to show people that here in Virginia we’re open and welcoming. We respect everybody no matter who they love, or who they pray to, or the color of one’s skin. And because of all that, our economy took off.”

He also highlighted his work to expand Medicare, to reform the Standards of Learning program in Virginia’s schools to discourage teach-to-the-test lesson plans, and to begin a shift to green energy with the approval of solar farms and offshore wind turbines.

Asked about the controversy being spurred here and around the country about Critical Race Theory in schools, McAuliffe said it was a non-issue and was not being taught in Virginia classrooms.

“This is something that Youngkin and others are doing to try to divide people and I really hate it,” McAuliffe said. “… I hate it when people try to create racial tension between the black and white community, the brown community. I hate it.”

Rather than undermine confidence in public education, he said it was important to strengthen it.

“When I was governor before, I put a billion dollars into education. I wanted us to have the greatest education system in the country,” he said. He credited that investment into helping to land nationally recruited businesses including Nestlé, Gerber, Amazon, and Costar.

“Why? Because we’re ranked the number one education system in America for higher ed. We’re ranked number four for America for K-12. We’re ranked the number one state for business two years in a row—the only state in America to get that. We’re doing pretty good here in Virginia,” he said.

When he was asked about Youngkin’s proposal—currently being promoted in a run of TV ads—to eliminate the sales tax on groceries, McAuliffe said his opponent doesn’t understand Virginia’s government. While Youngkin has suggested using the commonwealth’s current $2 billion budget surplus to make for revenue lost through his proposed tax cuts, McAuliffe pointed out most of that money is already encumbered, with a constitutional requirement to replenish the state’s Rainy Day Fund and water quality improvement funds.

“He’s clueless about state government,” McAuliffe said, noting that Youngkin also had floated ideas to eliminate the state income tax—the chief revenue source for the General Fund—and to limit real estate tax, which is controlled by localities.

But McAuliffe said something like eliminating the grocery tax wouldn’t be off the table.

“Anything I can do, like I did last time, to put more money in people’s pockets, [improve] quality of life, that’s what I’m about,” he said.

13 thoughts on “McAuliffe Pushes for Vaccine Mandates in Ashburn Visit

  • 2021-09-10 at 8:48 pm
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    I prefer Terry McAuliffe over Glenn Youngkin because he’s a known commodity. Remember, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.” Glenn Youngkin has shown us he can make lots of money. But I question whether he’d be passionate about serving all segments of society as governor. Think of this quote by Terry McAuliffe: “We respect everybody no matter who they love, or who they pray to, or the color of one’s skin.” Can you imagine Glenn Youngkin saying that?

    • 2021-09-13 at 10:03 pm
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      “I prefer Terry McAuliffe over Glenn Youngkin because he’s a known commodity. Remember, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.” This may be the most ignorant comment I’ve ever seen. Are you kidding me? According to you, as long as you know the name of the whacko candidate, then you should just keep voting for them. At what point does it occur to you that this man is a flip-flopping, social justice warrior wanna be, who really couldn’t care less about those issues, he is just a power hungry, arrogant, rich person who wants to control the “unwashed masses”. McAuliffe is a tyrant who cannot stand the fact that he had to leave office the first time around.

  • 2021-09-11 at 12:25 pm
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    It seems like Democrats are selectively “pro-choice.” As long as you choose their choices they are good. When you choose your choice, not so much. Funny how that works. In fact, we need less government everywhere. Northam, Randall and the school board prove that every time they say or do something.

    If Virginia governments would stop wasting money on idiotic projects and restrictive, anti-business and anti-liberty regulations, my guess is the economy would do just fine. Taxing people on groceries, liquor and cigarettes to spend on unused sports palaces and non-operational mass transit lines doesn’t seem to indicate a “good understanding of government” or a good understanding of reality.

  • 2021-09-11 at 2:08 pm
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    Hopefully, most of the people in that room know instinctively Terry could care less about them. This guy cares for no one but himself.

    Democrats in their zeal for total power, have caused catastrophic damage to race relations and dividing people over the last two years. They’ve set the country back 25 years. Terry is one of the main perpetrators via his actions at Charlottesville. Little wonder he suppressed an independent inquiry, and spent tax money on a whitewashed report from his cronies clearing him of fault.

    Democrats had an opportunity, with two accomplished women, to actually put their money where their mouth is, but no. They dug up this same old slimy political hack from the Washington Establishment. He’ll use the same worn out lines and cliches to say what he’ll do, since he didn’t do crap the last time he occupied Richmond with only 20% of the eligible vote. Reject the back room deals out of Washington lobby houses. Write in the two women who were cast aside so this political hack could aggrandize his ego again.

  • 2021-09-11 at 2:14 pm
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    We cannot let the Dems and RINOs ruin our great commonwealth! Amanda Chase had her nomination stolen by the Richmond elites, and it is up to EVERY conservative to make sure she gets her proper place in t he governers mansion!!! We are writing in Amanda Chase, and the movement is gaining new patriots every day in this cause!

  • 2021-09-11 at 3:02 pm
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    Hey Terry, where’s that Virginia taxpayer money that disappeared with your Chinese friends right before you left office?

    This may have been swept under the rug at the time, but we deserve an answer.

  • 2021-09-11 at 4:54 pm
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    Voting for Amanda is the same as voting for Big McAuliffe! Grow a pair and quit hiding behind Amanda’s skirts.

  • 2021-09-12 at 2:20 pm
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    The man who brought us tolls on Route 66, I do not understand why anyone would vote for this guy. I have met Terry before and he is a narcissist, self centered and is the last person we want as governor of Virginia. Youngkin has his faults but is less harmful than Terry McAwful.

  • 2021-09-12 at 10:16 pm
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    The confidence with which he is advocating this tells me their polling indicates it is a winning issue. This would validate intuitive expectations that the mainstream electorate is fed up with anti-mask and anti-vaccine zealots who are prolonging the pandemic and putting our children’s health at risk.

    I am merely making a dispassionate observation here. I am frankly surprised Biden and McAuliffe would take such strong positions. I don’t think this is a case of doing the right thing — I truly believe they have very good reason to believe it’s a winning issue.

  • 2021-09-13 at 6:14 am
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    The devil you know, utter nonsense! Terry has shifted from what he once was to a social justice warrior the only office he is fit for is in the sanitation department as an engineer.

  • 2021-09-13 at 10:37 am
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    Nobody ever liked Terry McAuliffe, and nobody ever will.

  • 2021-09-13 at 1:53 pm
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    I love how Mcauliffe (D) heads up to New York to do fundraising.

    A real carpetbagger’s carpetbagger.

  • 2021-09-13 at 6:56 pm
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    Mass vaccination is not a good idea. You just can’t kill all the virus. Although counterintuitive, it makes the pandemic worse. The virus will mutate to survive. We all know about the overuse of antibodies that makes bacteria harder to treat. If you don’t kill all the cancer cells, they will come back with a vengeance. It’s the same idea with this virus. It’s called antigenic, or immune, escape and may be driving the variants.

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