New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is doubling down on the state’s pandemic restrictions by imposing mask mandates on children, for which she says kids could simply adapt to better than adults.
A reporter asked: “Regarding the mass mandates. I want to know if the state has a particular number, whether that be like test positivity rate or a hospitalization rate, that when you go under that mask mandates will be lifted or is the state playing that by ear?”
“We're not playing it by ear,” replied Hochul. “We're going to be driven by data and look at what we, what our situation was prior to the mandates and assess was that the right number to go back to.”
“I can't say with certainty, but that is a starting point to look at the number before we instituted these … we instituted these because we saw the storm coming our way,” she replied. “We watched the global trends. We saw how quickly this escalated upward in other countries like England and South Africa. And we knew that could hit us.”
“That's why we took steps literally the day, the first case arrived in New York state, which was December 2nd and announced these, the first series of restrictions on going up for the next couple of weeks,” said Hochul, referring to the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
“So I think about this. I'm not going to operate in a vacuum,” she continued. “We're going to have data and experts and people who know a lot about what the next trends are, but I am really looking forward to lifting them.I truly am.”
“I know people are tired, but I also I'll say one thing about the kids. My daughter had a meltdown over having to put sneakers on to go to kindergarten. She got used to wearing sneakers in school and they just, they, they adapt better than adults do,” the governor insisted.
“And I'm really proud of the parents who made sure that they understood this is for their safety and got it done,” she continued. “But we're looking forward to the day we can live the school as well as the, uh, the business requirements we truly have. That'll be very fabulous day. That means that we've turned the corner in a way that we don't feel like we're going to be sliding backwards anytime soon.”