Virginia’s New Governor Issues Executive Orders Revoking Mask, Vaccine Mandates, Prohibiting CRT in Schools

  Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Monday, January 17, 2022
Virginia’s New Governor Issues Executive Orders Revoking Mask, Vaccine Mandates, Prohibiting CRT in Schools

On Saturday, Glenn Allen Youngkin became Virginia’s 74th governor, saying he would “restore trust in the government and restore power to the people.”

Youngkin is the first Republican to hold the governorship in Virginia since 2014.

He said in his address that Virginia could be “the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

According to the Richmond-Times Dispatch, in his first moves in office, Youngkin issued executive orders that did away with mask mandates in schools and COVID-19 vaccine requirements for state workers.

He also banned the teaching of “divisive concepts” in public schools, such as “critical race theory.”

“I come to this moment, and to this office, knowing we must bind the wounds of division. Restore trust. Find common cause for the common good. And strengthen the spirit of Virginia,” Youngkin said. “And to be clear, this spirit of Virginia is not about government deciding for us what is best for us.”

Youngkin will next take part in the 60-day legislative session that started Wednesday. In the House, Republicans have a 52-48 edge, and in the state Senate, the Democrats have a 21-19 advantage.

“Our politics have become too toxic. Sound bites have replaced solutions — taking precedence over good-faith problem-solving,” Youngkin said. He described the path forward as one that would rely on “the miracle of modern medicine” and “respect for individual freedom.”

Reactions were mixed to Youngkin’s taking on the top seat in the state.

“So far, I’ve seen legislation reversing voter protections, justice reform, and Youngkin has decided to be hands-off when it comes to tough decisions to protect our students and teachers from COVID-19,” said Del. Lamont Bagby, D-Henrico.

“And the war they have declared on Black history is dangerous, to say the least.”

Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw of Fairfax, on the other hand, said he is looking forward to working with Youngkin on “making Virginia the best place it can be.”

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Anna Moneymaker/Staff

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.