‘Enough is enough:’ Republicans oppose Gov. Hochul’s mask mandate

| 13 Dec 2021 | 08:17

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Dec. 10, that masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.

The governor’s office said this action is to address the winter surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations statewide in alignment with the CDC’s recommendations for communities with substantial and high transmission.

The new business and venue requirements extend to both patrons and staff. This measure is effective Dec. 13 until Jan. 15, 2022, after which the state will re-evaluate based on current conditions.

“I have warned for weeks that additional steps could be necessary, and now we are at that point based upon three metrics: Increasing cases, reduced hospital capacity and insufficient vaccination rates in certain areas,” Hochul said. “I share many New Yorkers’ frustration that we are not past this pandemic yet.”

State Sen. Mike Martucci, Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt, both Republicans, and New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy issued statements following the mandate ordered by Huchul, a Democrat:

State Sen. Mike Martucci

”It’s no surprise that less than one day after her principal Primary opponent dropped out, Kathy Hochul chose to impose a cynical mask mandate against private businesses. This is a blatantly political move, not a scientific one. The last thing businesses need is another mandate, especially one that forces them to strongarm their customers into wearing a mask or invade their privacy by checking their vaccination status. Some politicians like Hochul are using this crisis to scare and control people rather than following science and common sense. Like most New Yorkers, I thought we moved on from this style of leadership when Andrew Cuomo resigned — apparently not.

“I oppose this unnecessary mandate and the circumvention of the Legislature that it represents. I will work with my colleagues to overturn it.”

Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt

“Enough is enough. Governor Hochul’s holiday mask mandate on businesses and residents is a partisan political power move. As I have said since the beginning of the pandemic, arbitrary rules, regulations, and mandates issued by both former Governor Cuomo and our current Governor Hochul, have negatively impacted our local communities, small businesses, and residents statewide. Governor Hochul is taking a page out of the former governor’s playbook. This is an executive overreach that will decimate local businesses and negatively impact our economy. As a state, it’s time that we move forward.”

NYGOP Chairman Nick Langworthy

“Kathy Hochul is in over her head. First she comes out with a ridiculous mask mandate that will crush New York small businesses. Then after counties pushed back, she immediately folded and said she wouldn’t force them to comply. She is weak and not ready to lead. Kathy Hochul just doesn’t have the experience or competence to be the chief executive of the Empire State.”