Winsome Sears, who was recently elected lieutenant governor of Virginia, has declined to confirm if she has been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Lt Governor Sears was asked by CNN host Dana Bash during an interview on Sunday morning whether she was vaccinated against Covid-19.
The lieutenant governor-elect refused to answer directly. Instead, she went off on a bizarre tangent alleging that such questions were a “slippery slop[e]” leading to questions about her “DNA”.
She said: “And so we understand this, this thing about slippery slopes. The minute that I start telling you about my vaccine status, we're gonna 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 gonna want to know this, that and the other.”
Ms Sears’s remark is the latest from a line of GOP politicians who have chosen to make public admission of vaccination status into a political issue.
The Republican party opposes the vaccination mandate implemented by President Joe Biden weeks ago, which requires businesses with more than 100 employees to require vaccinations or regular testing for workers. The mandate also extends to all federal employees as well as medical and elder care professionals.
Ms Sears, along with other Republicans, has publicly opposed efforts to stop the spread of the virus like mask mandates, vaccination mandates, and other restrictions on public life.
The US has the most Covid-19-related deaths of any nation. Nearly 800,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 since the pandemic began.
The newly-elected Virginia Republican touched on Covid-19 misinformation during her interview. She questioned why those with Covid-19 antibodies were required or encouraged to receive a vaccine, ignoring the possibility of Covid-19 reinfection.
"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," she said.
The Covid-19 vaccine has been proven to widely reduce the risk of contracting the virus in general but also reducing the severity of symptoms for breakthrough infections. Those who contract Covid-19 after being vaccinated require hospitalisation at a much lower rate than unvaccinated persons.
Ms Sears won office in early November after a bruising campaign against Democrats Terry McAuliffe and Haya Ayala. The opponents had tried unsuccessfully to tie governor-elect Glenn Youngkin and Ms Sears to former president Donald Trump and the 6 January attack on the US Capitol.
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