RICHMOND, Va. – Glenn Youngkin is just days away from becoming Virginia’s next governor.
“I’m really excited. I’m excited to get to work. We’ve got a big, big day one game plan and we’re going to put it all in motion,” Youngkin said.
Switching from Democratic to Republican state leadership means things are going to change in the Commonwealth.
In an interview with WWBT in Richmond, the political newcomer discusses what he’s going to change, starting with how Virginia is handling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As he promised while on the campaign trail, the governor-elect says he will repeal a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for about 122,000 state employees as well as a mask mandate.
“We’re going to have to learn how to live with it to protect lives and livelihoods and we can do both,” he said.
Despite this move, both Youngkin and his wife are vaccinated against COVID-19 and have received their boosters. However, he says that he will challenge the federal vaccine mandate, hoping a favorable court ruling will put workers back in Virginia hospitals.
“We’re going to protect Virginias from overreach from Washington when it comes to forcing hospitals to fire workers who haven’t gotten the vaccine right at a time when we need more workers in our hospital because our hospital systems are stretched beyond where they have been historically,” he said.
Other issues he plans to take immediate action on are eliminating the grocery tax, giving public school teachers pay raises and reestablishing trust between law enforcement and the community.
“This is the moment for us to come together. This is a moment to recognize we have more that unites us than divides us and the best days of the Commonwealth of Virginia are definitely ahead of us,” he said.
Youngkin will address Virginia as governor for the first time Saturday afternoon during the inauguration in Richmond.