New York Governor Kathy Hochul: I ‘Reserve the Right’ to Force Students to Mask Up
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said this week she reserves the right to force students to mask up in school this fall, although there is currently no set mandate planned.
“We don’t currently, based on today’s numbers, anticipate the need for masks in classrooms, but I’m going to reserve the right to return to this policy if the numbers change, the circumstances change, and the severity of the illnesses change,” the Democrat said on Wednesday.
“God forbid there is a variant that affects kids more severely,” she added, warning that it is possible that the country has not “seen everything” in terms of the virus.
“I feel like we’ve seen everything, but maybe we haven’t. And that’s what preparing for. So my number one job is to protect the health of New Yorkers, especially our vulnerable children,” Hochul said ahead of students returning to school in September.
Part of the strategy for students heading back to school, she said, involves “vaccinations and boosters.”
While Hochul reserves the right to force children to mask up, she is not ready to lift the mask mandate for public transportation, contending that numbers have to be “consistently lower.”
“We are trying very hard to encourage people to come back to work, use the subways, but they have to feel safe and secure,” she said.
Hochul is not the only politician refusing to ditch masks completely. California’s San Diego Unified School District brought back forced masking this week — a mandate coming over two years after the start of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.