Fact Check: McAuliffe Calls Youngkin an 'Anti-Vaxxer,' But His GOP Opponent Is Fully Vaccinated


Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe threw truth to the winds Sunday in an effort to salvage a campaign that has seen his lead over Republican Glenn Youngkin steadily erode.

McAuliffe had a 6.6 percentage point lead in August according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls. The same average now has Youngkin ahead by a fraction of a percentage point.

Although last week The Washington Post said the numbers McAuliffe was throwing concerning the impact of COVID 19 on Virginia’s children were as false as false can be, the flailing candidate was still using them Sunday during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press, “ according to Fox News.

The former pal of Hillary Clinton also tried to hang the label of “anti-vaxxer” on Youngkin, who is vaccinated and supports individuals being vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“I’m running against an anti-vaxxer,” McAuliffe said. “As you know, Glenn Youngkin has said, ‘If you don’t want to take it, don’t take it.’ I believe teachers, doctors, nurses, everybody ought to be vaccinated.”

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But Youngkin, as noted by StatNews, ran an ad asking others to “join me in getting the vaccine.”

“We can protect lives and livelihoods here in Virginia,” he said in the ad.

During a debate with McAuliffe, he explained his position, according to CNN.

“I’ve gotten the vaccine; my family has gotten the vaccine. It’s the best way for people to keep themselves safe. And I in fact have asked everyone in Virginia to please get the vaccine. But I don’t think we should mandate it,” Youngkin said.

Teachers and health care workers should not be punished or fired, he said, if they refuse to be vaccinated.

“We need those health care workers. We need people on the job. To make their life difficult, that’s no way to go serve Virginians,” he said.

“I do believe the COVID vaccine is one that everyone should get, but we shouldn’t mandate it,” he continued.

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McAuliffe compounded his assault on the truth Sunday when he repeated a claim that has been a stump speech staple.

“We have 1,142 children who have been in the hospital here in Virginia,” McAuliffe claimed, according to Fox.

Noting that the number keeps appearing despite being devoid of accuracy, the Post last week said that it was not simply one of those things candidates say when they forget the real number.

“In speaking about the threat of the coronavirus to the state, McAuliffe frequently touts numbers — often wrong numbers about the impact on children. When we first queried the McAuliffe campaign about his figures, we were told it was a slip of the tongue. Okay, we understand that, and so we passed on a fact check. But then his tongue kept slipping,” fact-checker Glenn Kessler wrote.

The Post would award McAuliffe four Pinocchios — branding McAuliffe as far from truth as it gets saying “this has happened too many times for McAuliffe’s language to be an accident. He repeatedly mentions a weekend number for cases, but suggests it’s a one-day figure. He offers wildly inflated figures for child hospitalizations, suggesting again that these were daily figures and claiming twice that these many children were in ICUs. Instead, he appears to be citing a figure for all of the children hospitalized with covid-19 in Virginia over the past 19 months — which is still inflated.”

“The pandemic will continue to be a serious policy challenge for the next Virginia governor but there’s no reason for McAuliffe to hype the numbers,” Kessler wrote.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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