Walsh Reacts to Gov. Hochul’s Mask Mandate Announcement

"Gov. Hochul’s announcement regarding mask requirements for all indoor locations statewide feels like, in the words of Yogi Berra "déjà vu all over again," and reminds me of the endless mandates announced by the disgraced Cuomo administration. In June, we celebrated the ‘end of COVID’ with fireworks. Six months later, 80 percent of adults are vaccinated, and now, a mask mandate with little clarity or guidance? Unfortunately, New Yorkers and businesses will be left to suffer the consequences. This will no doubt cause frustration for business owners and their employees who are already stretched thin and trying to financially recover during the holiday shopping season. Mask mandates will likely push individuals back to the convenience of online shopping, further impacting small businesses that have just started to recover from the pandemic.

“At no point have individuals who want to wear masks been told they cannot, and I support their freedom and choice to do so if that is their wish. That being said, individual freedoms and choice are what is at stake under a return to a mandate such as the one announced earlier today. We need to move forward and that means no more last minute, top-down mandates. 

“Today I share the frustration of so many of my constituents who have reached out asking 'Why?'"