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Winsome Sears, the incoming lieutenant governor of Virginia and first Black woman elected to the office, has declined to disclose if she has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
In a Sunday appearance on CNN’s State of the Union with Dana Bash, Sears said she believed that disclosing her vaccination status would lead to a “slippery slope.”
“The minute that I start telling you about my vaccine status, we’re going to be down the bottom of the mountain trying to figure out how we got there because now you want to know what’s in my DNA. You’re going to want to know this, that and the other,” Sears said.
“We have to remember that we’re America,” she added. “We love our freedom. We love our liberty. People are dying to get into this country so that they can do well for themselves and their families. Let’s not make it like some other countries. Let’s let liberty shine.”
The former Virginia House of Delegates member was elected as Republicans took control of the state, chosen to serve alongside pending governor Glenn Youngkin, who rose to power on a platform of empowering parents in school curriculum decisions. The governor-elect is also against statewide vaccine mandates.
Sears and Youngkin will be sworn in on January 15.
In her interview with Bash, Sears repeated debunked theories that people who had previously contracted COVID-19 need not be vaccinated.
“Let’s ask ourselves if the purpose of the Covid vaccine is to prevent us from getting Covid, then why is it that those who have had Covid must get the vaccine? One doesn’t follow the other,” Sears asserted, despite scientific data that unvaccinated people are driving rising hospitalizations and deaths.
“Let me ask you this question: If you have the mask on, then why does somebody else have to wear the mask?” she continued.
Additionally, Sears and Bash sparred over whether or not critical race theory is taught in Virginia’s K-12 schools.
“Well, let me back up; I beg to differ that CRT is not taught,” Sears said.
“I didn’t say that,” Bash interrupted. “I just said it’s not in the curriculum, just to be clear.”
“No, no, it is part of the curriculum. It is weaved in and out of the curriculum,” said Sears. “In fact, in 2015, former governor, who was just defeated, (Terry) McAuliffe, his state board of education had information on how to teach it, so it’s weaved in. So you know, it’s semantics, but it’s weaved in.
According to Sears, what Youngkin “has said is that all of history must be taught, the good, the bad and the ugly because what we learn from history, Dana, is that we don’t learn from history and we continue to repeat the same mistakes.”
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