Monday | October 18th, 2021

It’s Monday, October 18th, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast:

1) Battle Over Vaccine Mandates Continues

The Topline:  President Biden’s vaccine mandates for all federal and many private employers appears to already be significantly impacting some industries, including airlines. 

One group pushing back on mandates is Freedom Flyers. Formed at the beginning of September, its membership has exploded to tens of thousands, and now includes workers in other industries besides airlines, including trucking, train and subway operators. 

Quote Of The Day: “We have very credible knowledge from the top of specifically our unions that because the union leadership is pro-mandate, pro-vaccine, that they’re trying to get the rest of the group on board with that because of that’s their own personal agenda. And so we’re trying to ask why is that? Why you’re not fighting for us? Just for medical freedom. Why can’t we make our own choice?”

– Jason Kunisch, co-founder of Freedom Flyers

Blake Callahan/Getty Images

Freedom Flyers

Jason Kunisch, the co-founder of Freedom Flyers, said vaccine mandates are “medical tyranny,” adding the group has members who are vaccinated and unvaccinated. He said the group is pro-medical freedom. 

The organization is estimated to have around 85,000 members.

Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/Contributor/AFP via Getty Images

2) Fallout From Loudoun County Sexual Assault Allegations 

The Topline: The Daily Wire exclusive story about an alleged cover-up of a sexual assault at a public high school has led to changes in Loudoun County, Virginia. 

Background

Last week, The Daily Wire revealed the backstory behind a viral photo of a man being arrested at a Loudoun County school board meeting during a debate about a transgender bathroom policy. The man’s ninth-grade daughter was allegedly raped in a bathroom by a boy wearing a skirt three weeks earlier. 

They arrested the father, Scott Smith, for disorderly conduct, then passed the controversial policy. 

Last month, the alleged rapist was arrested for a different sexual offense at another school in the district. 

Update

School board member Beth Barts, who told the crowd on the night of Scott Smith’s arrest, “Our students do not need to be protected, and they are not in danger,” resigned on Friday. 

Barts is the same board member who previously was part of the “Anti-Racist” Facebook group that threatened to “hack” and “expose” parents who voiced dissent about some of the school policies.

She was already facing a recall, but since she’s resigning, her colleagues can select her replacement, rather than voters. 

Superintendent Scott Ziegler also offered an apology, saying, “I am sorry that we failed to provide the safe, welcoming and affirming environment that we aspire to provide.”

In explaining why he told the school board there had never been bathroom assaults, he said he thought the question was if there had been any assaults in bathrooms by transgender or gender-fluid students specifically.

However, the May 28th rape of Smith’s daughter allegedly was by a “gender-fluid” student. 

New Revelations 

Schools are required to report all sexual assaults to the state. 

On Thursday, The Daily Wire revealed that Loudoun reported zero on these statistics, both for the time period covering the May rape as well as an earlier well-known incident. 

The family of the May assault victim says they plan to sue Loudoun County Public Schools.

Win McNamee/Staff/Getty Images

3) Virginia Gubernatorial Race Heats Up

The Topline: As the 2022 midterm elections and the general election in 2024 approach, the Virginia gubernatorial race is becoming a microcosm of the larger cultural battle in the U.S. 

Quote Of The Day: “…it’s no longer a campaign. It’s a movement …and watch Virginia stand up not just for Virginia parents but for America’s parents.”

– Glenn Youngkin, Republican Candidate for Virginia Governor

Virginia Gubernatorial Election

The race is between Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who won the Democratic primary and is a former governor, and Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin.

The election will be held in Virginia on November 2nd, and the winner will be sworn in on January 15th, 2022. If Youngkin wins, it would be the first time in 12 years that a Republican held the governor’s office in Virginia.

Issues

The issues at the center of the race are the issues voters are facing across the country. Vaccines and vaccine mandates, the economy, employment, and the attitude towards President Joe Biden and the federal government.

Polling: McAuliffe (D) is leading Youngkin (R) by under 3% among likely voters. 

Youngkin is leading with independents, a voting bloc which could sway elections in 2022 and 2024.

Democrats are tending to be in favor of more strict COVID-19 restrictions, while Republicans generally oppose them, and prioritize issues relating to jobs and the economy – a national trend.

Schools

For many Virginia voters, schools are also a central issue for this election.

Youngkin and Republicans in the state are making schools a focus, especially after months of closed classrooms and media coverage of issues like Critical Race Theory and transgenderism in schools.

Bill Clark/Contributor/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Kidnapping

At least 17 American Christian missionaries, including 3 children, were kidnapped Saturday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The Christian aid group was leaving an orphanage when they were allegedly abducted by gang members.

Kyrsten Sinema

Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who was previously harassed by activists in a women’s bathroom and on a commercial flight for pushing back against the Democrat-backed reconciliation bill, continues to face protests. The director of activist group Our Revolution, stated: “We’re committed to birddogging Kyrsten Sinema with her constituents until the very end.” The group promised to continue to “make her life unpleasant or uncomfortable.”

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