Blankenbush Opposed to Gov. Hochul’s Mask Mandate

Statement by Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C,I-Black River)

“The governor came out earlier today and announced a sweeping statewide mask mandate for all indoor spaces beginning on Monday, Dec. 13. This announcement came as a surprise as the governor did not consult with the Legislature and issued it at a press conference on a non-related issue.

“For months New Yorkers have been told to get the vaccine, and I encourage anyone who is able, to do so. With over 80% of adult New Yorkers vaccinated, this new mask mandate is a shameful return to the past of governmental overreach and something we would have seen before the vaccine roll-out. Small businesses should not be forced to be ‘mask police,’ or checking for everyone’s vaccination status. Blanket mandates like today’s will only inhibit their recovery process, it is shameful.

“How much more evidence do we need to see that mandates are both ineffective and dangerous? The governor’s prior vaccine mandate on health care workers put hundreds of our heroes on the streets, subsequently causing a staffing crisis at a time when we need them most. Those in the North Country and Mohawk Valley are frustrated with the constant moving of the goalposts and I join them in this frustration.”