Governor-elect Youngkin prepares to take office during COVID surge

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 1:35 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - In just a few weeks, Glenn Youngkin will officially become the 74th governor of Virginia.

That comes as COVID-19 cases are spiking across the state.

This month, Virginia marked a grim milestone, reporting more than one million cases since the start of the pandemic, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Youngkin says the conversation should center around the severity of cases, instead of the overall number.

He’s also encouraging all Virginians to stay safe.

“The best way for us to protect ourselves is to get the vaccine. I continue to strongly encourage everyone to please get the vaccine, and if you’ve had the vaccine get the booster. This is the best way to protect you and your family. Now I won’t mandate it.”

Youngkin says he will work to improve accessibility across the state and will make sure anyone with questions about vaccine safety can get their concerns addressed.

In preparation for his taking over the office from Governor Northam, Youngkin has already announced his picks for commerce, finance and education secretaries. He says Northam helped him with his day one agenda by writing pay raises for teachers and law enforcement and eliminating the grocery tax in his final budget.

“We need to keep our schools open five days a week and we’ll have the largest education budget in the history of Virginia, and we will in fact raise teachers’ salaries and invest in facilities and invest in special education.”

Youngkin also says he will push forth aggressively with his charter school initiative, giving parents a choice for their children’s education.

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