Making some truly eyebrow-raising remarks about vaccines on Sunday, Virginia Lt. Gov.-elect Winsome Sears refused to share her vaccination status because she feels it is a “slippery slope” that will eventually lead to the disclosure of her DNA information.
Sears, a rising Republican star who became both Virginia’s first female and woman of color to be elected lieutenant governor this month, appeared on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday and immediately caused a stir with her comments on race and COVID-19.
Clashing with anchor Dana Bash on whether or not critical race theory is part of Virginia’s public school curricula, for instance, Sears went on a tangent about one of the most notorious events in American history.
“But while we’re talking about history, how about we talk about how Black people from the 1890s to about 1950-1960, according to the U.S. Census, had been marrying in a percentage that had far surpassed anything that whites had ever done,” she declared. “When we talk about the Tulsa Race Riots, let’s ask ourselves how did the Black people amass so much wealth right after the Civil War, so that it could even be destroyed? How did they do that?! You know, they were coming from nothing, from zero, some of them never even got the 40 acres and a mule. Let’s try to emulate that.”
It was the incoming lieutenant governor’s stance on COVID-19 vaccines and mandates, however, that appeared to really catch Bash off guard. After the CNN host and Sears went back and forth about the fact that Virginia has long had mandates for vaccines for a host of other diseases, Sears grumbled that vaccines had become too politicized.
She also claimed that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris said they “would not trust any vaccine” that was developed by the Trump administration when they were candidates.
“What is the science? Can somebody tell us what to finally believe?!” Sears exclaimed.
After the State of the Union moderator explained that Harris and Biden actually said they would trust scientists and experts on the vaccines and not just Trump’s word, she then pressed Sears on her own vaccination status. Throughout her campaign, while encouraging others to get the vaccine, Sears refused to say whether she herself was vaccinated, stating that “no one should be forced to disclose their vaccination status.”
Once again, the lieutenant governor-elect declined to share whether or not she was vaccinated.
“As I said, America, if it’s nothing else, it’s about liberty,” Sears replied. “It’s about being able to live your life free from the government telling you what to do.”
She continued: “And so we understand this thing about slippery slopes, 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 also complained about vaccine mandates in New York City, noting that restaurants are requiring patrons to show I.D. cards revealing they’ve been vaccinated before they can enter. Furthermore, she also implied that the vaccines—which have been found to be overwhelmingly safe and effective—could be dangerous.
“Let’s say you get the vaccine, go ahead and get the vaccine, if that’s what you want to do, get the vaccine,” Sears said. “Don’t force it on anybody else.”
She then warned: “We know, and by the way, media, they’re not telling us that people are suffering as a result of getting the vaccine. They have all kinds of problems. I understand it might be minuscule, but when you’re the one out of 30,000 that gets it, it’s important to you, so we need to tell the good, the bad, and the ugly about the vaccine.”