Republican Tudor Dixon firmly rejected mandating coronavirus vaccines for schoolchildren Tuesday during the Michigan gubernatorial debate, leading incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to pledge that she, too, would not require the vaccines for students if she were reelected.
The debate moderator asked Dixon and Whitmer if they would implement vaccine mandates that aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recent vote to add coronavirus vaccines to its recommended immunization schedule for children in 2023.
Dixon, who opposes coronavirus lockdowns and mandates, reaffirmed her position in her response, saying, “I want to be very clear about this. This is a parent’s decision. There will never be a mandate for the COVID-19 vaccine for children to go to school in a Dixon administration.”
Then, putting Whitmer on the spot, Dixon added:
I’m anxious to hear what Gretchen Whitmer has to say because she was forcing the vaccine on people. You remember her program “Vacc to Normal?” You could only get your liberties and freedoms back if you got your neighbor vaccinated. She will likely push this on your children. I want you to know that I will never push the COVID-19 vaccine on your children. That is your choice, and it will always be your choice as long as I am your governor.
Whitmer, who became notorious for mandating stringent coronavirus policies in 2020 and 2021, replied, “I do not support requiring the COVID vaccine for children.”
Whitmer then reverted to touting the state’s management of coronavirus despite Whitmer becoming known for her controversial mandates and recommendations that she herself got caught violating on numerous occasions and despite the Democrat governor receiving significant blowback for her policies surrounding nursing homes.
Whitmer then accused Dixon of “sowing conspiracy theories” about coronavirus vaccines.
“It’s that kind of foolishness that actually endangers people,” Whitmer said. “If she had been governor during COVID, thousands more people would have died.”
Dixon shot back, “If that were at all true, why would I have gotten the vaccine myself? The governor is being dishonest once again, but that’s what you do when you don’t have policies to run on, when you killed more seniors than almost any other state, when you were told to stop the policy but you kept it going.”