For months Virginia’s incoming Republican governor has been promising he would neither mandate masks in schools nor ban school districts from requiring them.
“Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) will not outlaw local COVID-19 mandates when he takes office in January,” reported the far right wing website Daily Wire back in November.
Local ABC affiliate 8 News, also in November reported, “Youngkin won’t try to block local mask, vaccine mandates like other Republican governors.”
Glenn Youngkin was sworn into office on Saturday, January 15, 2022.
Business Insider reports that on Saturday, after Youngkin was sworn into office, he “signed an executive action that banned schools from requiring that students wear masks to stem the spread of COVID-19, instead allowing parents to decide when their children wear masks during the school day.”
Youngkin’s first act as governor was to sign eleven executive orders. Among them: effectively banning any mask mandates in schools across the state, by allowing parents to opt-out for any reason or no reason.
In other words: flip-flopping on his promise.
Youngkin is using his Lt. Governor to threaten angry school districts. Fox News’ John Roberts:
Virginia Lt. Gov. @WinsomeSears says @GlennYoungkin may withold state education money from school districts that defy his Executive Order making masking optional. So far, Fairfax, Arlington and Richmond have said their mask mandates will stay in place.— John Roberts (@John Roberts) 1642446539
Pundit and political analyst Bill Scher:
For all people saying Youngkin is just doing what he said he would do by banning local school mask mandates ... nope! \n\nIn November he said, "Localities are going to have to make decisions the way the law works" (h/t @terrellwrites )https://www.wric.com/news/yougkin-wont-try-to-block-local-mask-vaccine-mandates-like-other-republican-governors/\u00a0\u2026— Bill Scher (@Bill Scher) 1642453386
Youngkin made a big deal over the weekend claiming schools have to “listen to parents” and if they oppose his mask ban they aren’t listening to parents.
Exclusive: Governor Youngkin on Arlington school system saying it will require masks, despite Youngkin\u2019s order stating that schools can\u2019t do that. He threatened to use state resources to force schools to comply - but we still don\u2019t know what that means exactly. @WTOP https://twitter.com/apsvirginia/status/1482481768229969922\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/SnC4dcCIar— Nick Iannelli (@Nick Iannelli) 1642360540
Gov. Youngkin is the one not listening.