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Glenn Youngkin Wastes No Time Delivering on Election Promises

AP Photo/Steve Helber, File

Shortly after being inaugurated, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and his administration set the left’s hair on fire. It was glorious to watch. Virginia is not just full of government employees working in the Biden administration. It is also full of corporate media hacks who cover the beltway. One of the first few actions Youngkin took was appointing an adviser on the pandemic. He chose Dr. Marty Makary, surgery and public health professor at Johns Hopkins University. The Washington Post was not pleased.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has named a respected physician who opposes blanket vaccine mandates and downplayed the threat of the coronavirus to children as his lead adviser on pandemic response.

The choice of Marty Makary, a Johns Hopkins surgeon and Fox News contributor, signals that Youngkin (R) will upend the approach of outgoing governor and pediatric neurologist Ralph Northam (D) to public policy at a critical time in the pandemic, political science and health experts say.

The health expert they cite is Dr. Lena Wen, a Washington Post and CNN contributor who is also a Covid authoritarian. She supports vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, and masking requirements. All things that make very little sense in the face of omicron, which evades vaccine-induced immunity and, as even Wen had to admit, overwhelms any protection offered by cloth masks. She called them “decorations” in light of the more transmissible variant.

Wen appreciates Makary’s intellect but implies he does not know how to interpret research. He only pioneered a minimally invasive pancreatic surgery before focusing on public health. Wen’s most notable accomplishment is leading the Planned Parenthood abortion mills.

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Makary’s view on the pandemic response has evolved as the virus has and as more data has become available. When the vaccines came out, he promoted their use citing the protective effects, especially for the at-risk. While the Post accuses him of downplaying the risk to children, Makary is one of the only researchers to look at pediatric Covid deaths. He and his team did a retrospective review and found that all pediatric deaths in the assessed period had serious health conditions like cancer.

The data show that healthy children have rarely suffered serious illness from a Covid infection since early in the pandemic. Outlets like the Post were able to conflate a resurgence of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) with Covid by focusing on the number of pediatric hospitalizations. RSV causes severe illness in children on an annual basis and was particularly common in 2021 because children were not exposed during lockdowns. The practice of compulsory testing also helped inflate the numbers. Dr. Fauci recently admitted as much, saying:

“If you look at the children that are hospitalized, many of them are hospitalized with Covid, as opposed to because of Covid. And what we mean by that, if a child goes in the hospital, they automatically get tested for Covid. And they get counted as a Covid hospitalized individual. When in fact they may go in for a broken leg or appendicitis or something like that.”

On the question of childhood vaccination, Makary has always taken risks and benefits into account. He has highlighted updated information on the risk of myocarditis, especially in teen boys following a second vaccination. This data is why Makary suggested one dose of mRNA vaccine for children. Given the low risk from Covid to children, he has not advocated vaccine mandates for them. This view is hardly fringe, as it looks like about 19 million of the 73 million children under 18 are fully vaccinated.

In a recent statement, Makary also showed he has no problem criticizing the public health bureaucracy. In an AEI podcast, he said, “I get fired up about the CDC, I’m sorry. Most of their studies would not pass a seventh-grade science fair project experiment.” Atlantic reporter David Zweig supports Makary’s assertion in an exposé on the fundamental flaws in a school mask policy study that CDC Director Rochelle Walensky still cites. Researchers Zweig quotes say the CDC should have never shared the results in public. The Atlantic is hardly a right-wing outlet.

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Makary will support Youngkin’s order allowing parents to decide whether or not their children will wear a mask at school. In appearances, Makary has noted data demonstrating children are not efficient transmitters of Covid. He also co-authored an editorial in The Wall Street Journal  titled “The Case Against Masks for Children.” Again, this is not a fringe view simply because it contradicts the CDC recommendation. Closures and restrictive Covid policies were some of the education issues energizing parents to get behind Youngkin.

The other energizing issues were the K-12 curriculum and the sexual assault cover-up in Loudoun County. Youngkin also addressed these on day one. He signed an executive order eliminating critical race theory in school curriculums. Another directive will start an investigation into what happened in Loudoun County. The new administration will also keep its pledge to prosecute crime. Attorney General Jason Miyares fired the entire staff in the civil rights division and pledged to prosecute criminal cases in jurisdictions where Soros-funded prosecutors refuse to enforce the law.

If the first two days are any indication, the Youngkin administration may be a case study in delivering on election promises. Republicans should take note. Outsiders like President Trump and Youngkin may not have a lot in common, but both started delivering on specific commitments to voters on day one. If incumbent Republicans don’t start to do the same, voters can and should replace them with outsiders who will.