An incoming county executive on Long Island told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Monday that New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s new order mandating civilians provide proof they have been vaccinated or wear a mask is both unnecessary and ill-advised, and that he will not enforce it.
Hochul, who as Andrew Cuomo’s lieutenant governor took over when the disgraced Democrat left office earlier this year, announced the mandate, effective this week, that is accompanied by steep fines and other punishments.
Hochul, 63, a former Democratic congresswoman from Buffalo, appeared to criticize the people of New York for not electing to get the initial jab or its booster shots fast enough:
“If people got vaccinated and got the booster shots I would not have to put in place a mask mandate. It’s a mask or vaccine option. You have maximum flexibility. I go to a gym and wear my mask,” she said while announcing the order.
Nassau County Executive-elect Bruce Blakeman – elected this past November to succeed Democrat Laura Curran – told Fox News host Tucker Carlson his analysis of the county he will be charged with leading is strong enough that such a mandate is unnecessary:
“Nassau County has a population of 1.5 million people. Over 90% of our adult population is vaccinated. There is no crisis in our hospitals. We have plenty of hospital bed capacity. We have plenty of capacity in our ICU units. I won’t enforce the mask mandate because it’s not necessary,” he said.
“We are not in crisis in Nassau County. People want to get back to normal.”
Blakeman said that Hochul is painting the Empire State with too broad a brush, and likely reacting to a regional “hospital crisis” in her hometown, nearly 500 miles away from his county.
“[Buffalo] is closer to Cleveland, Ohio than it is to Long Island – because they had a problem there the whole state has to have a mask mandate. That’s not taking a measured look at things and realizing it’s a large state.”
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Blakeman warned that such a mandate could also hamper the closing days of the Christmas season, when stores are seeking the last major fiscal bump for the near-term – as well as harming the childhood for the kids of Long Island.
“I don’t want to do anything that would interrupt our ability to get people shopping and going to restaurants and with respect to our children, the mask mandate for the school-aged kids I feel is wrong. We are stealing their childhood. I asked the governor to allow local control for local school boards to determine if masks are necessary,” he said.
A spokesperson for Curran, who leaves office on December 31, told the New York Post she will “continue to respond to complaints” until Blakeman comes in.