Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) went after Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY) during Tuesday night’s New York gubernatorial debate for refusing to definitively state if she’ll sign off on a COVID vaccine mandate for children in coming school years.
Notably, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)‘s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices unanimously decided last week to add the shot to the recommended immunization schedule for people including children as young as six months, The Daily Wire reported.
When Hochul was asked by the moderator if she’d mandate the shot, the governor boasted about giving children “the opportunity to wear a mask” to attend school in the past, and a “plentiful” supply of the vaccine.
“So, would you mandate a COVID vaccine for children, or no?” the moderator again pressed the Democrat.
“Not at this time,” Hochul responded. “I’m gonna talk about parental control over this, but I’d also say, it’s something that comes down to legislature anyhow. Legislature makes a determination in consultation with health experts for next year’s school year — you’re talking about this year. We’re not talking about mandating a COVID vaccine for children in school at the time, but I’m encouraging it, highly, highly encouraging.”
When Zeldin was given a chance to address the mandate, the Republican harshly contrasted his position with his opponent’s non-committal answer. “Where my opponent just said she will not mandate COVID vaccine at this time, let me clear to all the parents who are out there: I will not mandate COVID vaccines for your kids ever,” he asserted.
“I don’t believe that there should be COVID vaccine mandates right now for our kids in SUNY and CUNY, in community colleges and elsewhere,” Zeldin continued. “Over a year ago, a whole bunch of heroes were turned into zeros, tens of thousands of people, because of my opponent’s health care worker COVID vaccine mandate.”
“I believe that that mandate was wrong,” he emphasized, “and that everyone who was fired should be offered their jobs back with backpay.”
Lee Zeldin: “Where [Kathy Hochul] just said she will not mandate COVID vaccines at this time … I will not mandate COVID vaccines for your kids ever.” pic.twitter.com/s83D1nu7Ci
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) October 26, 2022
During the same debate, Zeldin slammed Hochul for promoting laws cracking down on gun rights and failed progressive policies when addressing rising crime in the deep-blue state.
“Kathy Hochul believes that the only crimes being committed are crimes with guns; you have people who are afraid to be pushed in front of oncoming subway cars, they’re being stabbed, beaten to death on the street with hammers,” he said.
“Talk to the Asian American community and how it’s impacted them with the loss of lives, Jewish people targeted with raw, violent anti-Semitism on our streets — it just happened yet again,” the Republican continued. “We need to be talking about all of these other crimes, but instead, Kathy Hochul is busy patting herself on the back, job well done. No, actually.”