With pandemic a focus, McAuliffe and Youngkin share statements on vaccine mandates

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Republican gubernatorial candidate, Glenn Youngkin, prepares to address the crowd at an event in Richmond, Va., left, and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, gestures as he addresses the crowd during an election party in McLean, Va., right. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WFXR) — The contagious delta variant of the coronavirus is taking center stage in the closely watched race for governor as both Democrat Terry McAuliffe and GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin release statements on vaccine mandates.

McAuliffe is calling on all Virginia employers to require the COVID-19 vaccine for their workers. His statement Monday comes as a policy debate escalates over how best to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Youngkin responded that McAuliffe’s announcement was an attempt to bully Virginians and businesses into compliance. Youngkin has urged Virginians to get vaccinated but opposes mandates.

Virginia recorded about 345 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks, according to an AP analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

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