Incoming N.Y. Governor ‘Open to All Options’ on Vaccine Mandates
Incoming New York Governor Kathy Hochul said she will be looking at the possibility of a statewide vaccine mandate for indoor activities, as she formulates her pandemic policy after taking over from Governor Andrew Cuomo at the end of the month.
“I’m open to all options,” she said on Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I will be looking at possibility of mandates, but not saying they’re in or out until I know all the facts.”
Hochul, 62, who is lieutenant governor, went on national talk shows on Sunday to signal a change of tone and atmosphere when she serves the remainder of Cuomo’s term, starting next week, following his resignation amid a sexual harassment scandal. She has said she intends to run in the 2022 governor’s race.
Hochul said she’s assembled a team of health experts, and in the next few days plans to contact the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser, as part of her effort to “bring the best and brightest” over Covid-19 control.
She reiterated her support for a mask mandate in schools. Hochul said she doesn’t have the executive power to impose a vaccine mandate for teachers, after state legislators curbed Cuomo’s pandemic-related emergency powers.
“I’m willing to speak to our legislative leaders and to take whatever action I need to, to protect people,” Hochul said on CNN.
On Cuomo’s political future, Hochul said “the governor will do what he chooses to do,” and it “will not distract me.”
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