Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has made it clear she will not be backing down from her mask mandates — no matter what the people of New York think.
Last week, in the midst of a surge of COVID cases, Hochul announced a mask mandate.
“Governor Kathy Hochul today announced masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement,” the governor’s office announced.
But many throughout the state, especially parents of school aged kids, are not happy with masks.
Since the summer, parents all over the state have been pushing for kids to be unmasked in schools.
In June, parents gathered outside the New York Capitol building to protest masks in schools, as Hudson Valley 360 News reported.
“Our children are forced to wear a mask and live in a constant state of fear,” one parent Jeff Thomas said. “We’re finally experiencing an end to the pandemic and return to normal life … then why are our children still required to wear masks in school?”
Even in New York City, Staten Island lawmakers and parents were opposed to masking kids, as WLNY-TV reported in July.
“I want to have this option for my child. I want him in the most comfortable school environment,” one parent said.
“They’re anxious. They’re confused. We can’t make them understand if we don’t understand, and nothing is there telling us why they have to wear masks in school. They’re being socially distanced anyway.”
By November, the calls for unmasking were even stronger, as the vaccine had been rolled out for all children over the age of 5.
“Masking and distancing need to end now. Masking, as well as restrictions like eating outside while distancing (my younger one must face a wall, not talk and sit on the pavement) and other restrictions (masking even while outside, no playing tag or soccer even outside, no class picture, no singing, etc.), have real harms on kids’ ability to socialize. It’s time to move on,” New York parent Katherine Haver told The 74 in November.
Even teachers agree that masks have to go in New York.
“I am looking forward to relaxing so many of the rigid rules! I am glad the vaccines are available to those who want them. As hard as we try, children will be children and no amount of masks or ‘social distancing’ is really helping anyone!” a teacher said, The 74 reported.
But Hochul has made it clear that she is not listening to her people in New York. She is being aggressive about the mandate and will not be “backing down.”
“In anticipation of the spike, we are absolutely right in what we did a week ago to prepare people for this. We think this will avert more people getting sick, and that’s a good news story. And we do hope that everyone really comes around and realizes this is a simple, very minor intrusion, if you will, if it’s even that,” Hochul said in a video.
“All the children in the state have been wearing masks since the beginning, it’s not that big a deal. It’ll help save lives, keep them healthy and that’s all we’re asking for. So there has been some push back, but we’re not backing down from this, we think it’s important,” she added.
.@GovKathyHochul on forcing small children to wear facemasks despite no data showing it’s helpful in combatting Covid:
“All the children in the state have been wearing masks since the beginning, it’s not that big a deal” pic.twitter.com/5SNGfcoI3m
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) December 18, 2021
Despite this hard nosed stance though, lawmakers in New York, including Democrats, are still pushing back against Hochul.
“While we will not be actively enforcing the mandate, we will respond to complaints and assist businesses with education and compliance however we can,” Democratic Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said Friday, according to The Post.
Hochul accused the the rebellious county executives of violating their “oath of office, which we all take, which is to protect the people of our state.”
However, many could argue that the same argument and logic could be applied to defying Hochul’s mandate.
She is not listening to the people that she is supposed to be representing and governing, which could be viewed as a violation of her oath of office.
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