New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul doesn’t formally grow to be governor till subsequent week. Nonetheless, she’s already catching criticism from Republicans after she voiced her help for a statewide masks mandate in faculties.
The Buffalo Democrat spoke to reporters after touring a faculty in Queens and mentioned she doesn’t have the authority simply but to make that decision.
She’s going to get that authority on Tuesday after present Gov. Andrew Cuomo formally resigns and she or he turns into the state’s 57th – and first feminine – governor. And her feedback gave each indication it was extra a matter of when and never if it’ll be enacted.
“Masks mandates are one thing that the Division of Well being has the authority to name for,” she mentioned. “They’ve that authority now, and we’ll know whether or not that’s been known as for, however I consider we’ll want masks mandates for kids to return to highschool.”
Whereas youngsters below 12 years of age are ineligible to get vaccinated, they will nonetheless contract the virus. That has led to calls to guard these children by masks mandates, even for people who find themselves absolutely vaccinated, as federal well being officers have reported these people can nonetheless catch and go alongside the virus.
Nationally, masks mandates have created a storm of controversy, with public boards and conferences that includes conflicting requires selling public well being and defending private liberty. States have reported 1000’s of children catching COVID-19 or being pressured to quarantine after coming into contact with an contaminated scholar, instructor or employees member.
Governors nationally have reacted in wildly completely different fashions and have been the targets of criticism for his or her actions.
On July 30, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an order that withheld public funds to any faculty district mandating masks, which led to some districts overtly defying the Republican’s directive.
Final week in Kentucky, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear issued an emergency order that required masks to be worn in all public gathering areas at faculties and day cares. That order was met with a problem within the state Supreme Court docket by the Republican Lawyer Normal.
Likewise, Hochul’s feedback have generated criticism from a Republican she’s going to possible face in subsequent yr’s gubernatorial election.
“No technology has suffered extra throughout the pandemic than our youngest,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, the favored Republican gubernatorial candidate, on Thursday. “Observe frequent sense, take a look at the information throughout the U.S. the place there haven’t been these mandates on youngsters & #UnMaskOurKids!”