McAuliffe raked in cash from donor who funded anti-vax effort, falsely calls Youngkin anti-vax
Why are McAuliffe supporters voting for him?
Terry McAuliffe has repeatedly and falsely called his gubernatorial opponent, Republican Glenn Youngkin, “anti-vax,” but the former Virginia governor has raked in tens of thousands of dollars from a donor who funded an anti-vax effort, campaign finance records show.
Albert Dwoskin, a real estate developer who bankrolled an institute that pushed anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, supplied the McAuliffe campaign with $53,400 worth of travel expenses in the form of in-kind contributions, or non-cash goods or services, Virginia campaign finance records show.
Dwoskin also pushed $27,500 in cash to the campaign this cycle and sent $10,000 to McAuliffe’s Common Good VA PAC in 2020. The PAC kicked nearly $1.6 million to McAuliffe’s campaign coffers in December, filings show.
But as McAuliffe raked in Dwoskin’s donations in the lead-up to the deadlocked Nov. 2 election, he simultaneously portrayed Youngkin as opposing coronavirus vaccines.
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Political activist Stacey Abrams, left, waves to the crowd with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe during a rally in Norfolk, Va.
(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
“Glenn Youngkin is an anti-vaxxer,” McAuliffe said during an October interview with WLJA. The Democrat has repeatedly claimed on the campaign trail that Youngkin is opposed to vaccines.
Youngkin, however, received the vaccine and has urged Virginians to do the same. Youngkin instead opposes coronavirus vaccine mandates.
McAuliffe’s ties to Dwoskin stem back several years. In 2014, while serving as Virginia’s governor, McAuliffe appointed Dwoskin and his then-wife, Claire Dwoskin, to the George Mason University Board of Visitors and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
Before the appointments, Claire Dwoskin called vaccines a “holocaust of poisons” that harm children. The Dwoskins pushed more than $50,000 in contributions to McAuliffe’s campaign at the time.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, Lieutenant Governor Candidate and Virginia State Delegate Hala Alaya, former U.S. President Barack Obama and Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and his wife Dorothy McAuliffe gesture during a campaign rally for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe in Richmond, Va., Oct. 23, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Clair Dwoskin established the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute in 2013, and her husband bankrolled the endeavor through the Dwoskin Family Foundation, the couple’s private foundation. She shuttered the institute when the couple separated in 2018, and Albert Dwoskin said he regretted his involvement in the anti-vaccination movement, the Daily Beast reported in 2019.
The institute regularly pushed debunked theories on the potential dangers of giving vaccines to children, including the notion that vaccines can lead to autism in adolescents. The institute also financed anti-vaccine initiatives and a film called “The Greater Good,” which pushed vaccine conspiracy theories.
Joseph Mercola, a controversial doctor and one of the country’s most high-profile anti-vaxxers, promoted the film. The Dwoskin institute also amplified Mercola’s work.
President Biden and Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe interact onstage at a rally in Arlington, Va., Oct. 26, 2021.
Additionally, the Dwoskins supplied other anti-vaccination groups with cash through their private foundation, including the National Vaccine Information Center, tax forms show.
The institute carried a mission of supporting “research to further the exploration and understanding on vaccine adverse reactions” at the time of the donations, according to the tax documents.
Neither McAuliffe’s campaign nor Dwoskin responded to a Fox News request for comment.
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