New York Counties to Defy Gov. Hochul’s Mask Mandate

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 08: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul attends the 15th Annual Stand Up For Heroes at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on November 08, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for SUFH)
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for SUFH

Bruce Blakeman, who will take his post as Nassau County Executive in January 2022, said he will not enforce New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) latest mask mandate, which forces businesses to choose between checking the vaccine status of patrons or requiring masks for all.

According to Newsday, a spokesperson stated that Blakeman “would not enforce the mandate once he takes office on Jan. 1,” joining “several upstate county leaders” who have also indicated that they will not enforce the Democrat governor’s edict. That includes the leaders of “Madison near Syracuse and Livingston near Rochester, along with Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Niagara and Rensselaer,” per the outlet.

However, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s office has indicated that it will enforce the mandate in the final stretch of her time in office.

“We have left this to the counties to enforce,” Hochul said of her mandate. “We hope that counties will enforce it. We expect that they will. We hope that they will. It’s in the best interests of public health.”

The mandate, which she announced on Friday, requires all businesses to either check the vaccine status of patrons or require a sweeping mask mandate, applying to virtually all. It will last until January 15, 2022, although it could be extended further,

However, Hochul admitted that it “comes down to individual businesses doing the right thing as well.”

“The temporary measures I am taking today will help accomplish this through the holiday season,” she said in a statement, mildly scolding unvaccinated New Yorkers and essentially blaming them for the additional mitigation measures.

“I want to thank the more than 80 percent of New Yorkers who have done the right thing to get fully vaccinated. If others will follow suit, these measures will no longer be necessary,” she added.

Meanwhile, other blue states are implementing additional requirements as well. California, for example, is forcing toddlers to mask up for the next month.

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