Everyone expects Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s laissez-faire COVID-19 approach to clash with institutions like the University of Virginia, which like the Chicago Public Schools system, has fought against a return to normalcy.
Both Youngkin and Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares confirmed their intention to challenge the Biden administration’s controversial vaccine rules on Friday. Meanwhile, progressive university administrators in Charlottesville’s liberal bubble are pushing in another direction.
As Bacon’s Rebellion reports:
In a communication to the UVa community, President Jim Ryan announced that the global spike in COVID-19 cases attributable to the Omicron variant had prompted him to take additional measures to prevent the spread. UVa is advancing the deadline for students, faculty and staff to get a COVID booster shot. The deadline — probably not a coincidence — is January 14, one day before Youngkin and Miyares take office.
Ryan said that advancing the booster deadline will dampen the spike in serious COVID-19 cases that could strain healthcare resources as well as university isolation and quarantine space. “We will ensure that the highest number of UVA community members possible are as protected as they can be from COVID-19 infection, serious illness and hospitalization as the in-person semester gets underway.”
If a UVa student is young, has acquired natural immunities, is not obese and has no vitamin deficiencies, he or she appears to be at negligible risk of contracting and spreading COVID. UVa’s own data demonstrates that the spread of Omicron is spiking among faculty and staff, not students.
Mandating vaccinations for faculty and staff, though morally troubling, is at least comprehensible from a public health perspective. For students, it’s not even comprehensible.