Politics

Jen Psaki slams Virginia’s anti-LGBTQ governor for banning mask mandates in schools

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing on Friday August 6, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing on Friday August 6, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.Photo: Official White House Photo by Erin Scott

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has become known for her epic takedowns of far-right journalists in the White House Briefing Room as she works to defend President Joe Biden and his policies.

Now, she has taken to Twitter to defend her own children from newly sworn-in Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R).

Related: Jen Psaki cheerfully slams Fox reporter who whined that Joe Biden isn’t being nice enough

Youngkin, who is publicly anti-LGBTQ, was sworn in on Saturday and immediately passed a series of executive orders, including one banning public schools from implementing mask mandates.

But multiple school districts, including Arlington Public Schools, where it appears Psaki’s kids attend, announced they would be keeping their mask mandates in place.

On Sunday night, Psaki retweeted a video of Youngkin criticizing the school district for going against his order and claiming administrators aren’t listening to what parents want.

“We will use every resource within the Governor’s authority to explore what we can do and will do in order to make sure that parents’ rights are protected,” Youngkin told a reporter.

In response, Psaki called Youngkin out for not being a parent in the district and praised the county for protecting the students’ safety.

“Hi there. Arlington county parent here (don’t believe you are @GlennYoungkin but correct me if I am wrong). Thank you to @APSVirginia for standing up for our kids, teachers and administrators and their safety in the midst of a transmissible variant.”

Youngkin is a Trump-endorsed governor who has repeatedly spoken out against LGBTQ rights.

Throughout his campaign, he repeatedly denigrated transgender people, referred to trans girls as “biological males” who are “not fair” for trying to participate in sports, and was honored at a gala by an anti-LGBTQ group — which itself was supported by hate groups and Trump-affiliated organizations.

Days before the election, Youngkin also admitted that he is against same-sex marriage, although he pledged he “will support” that right when he is in office.

Most of all, Youngkin made schools the main theme of his campaign. He ran on a platform of parents’ rights and centered his campaign around parents who wish to shut down progressive policies in public schools.

Youngkin pledged to remove Critical Race Theory from curricula, even though it’s not taught in any public schools (and one of his first executive orders after he took office did just that).

Once elected, Youngkin also named several anti-LGBTQ conservatives to his transition team.

One of his transition’s top officials wrote the legislation that outlawed marriage equality in Virginia for a decade, and the other helped build the careers and reputations of anti-LGBTQ conservatives such as former Indiana governor and Vice President Mike Pence and Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

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