NY's new gov says masks at schools are necessary

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on August 15, 2021 - Duration: 01:42s

NY's new gov says masks at schools are necessary

New York's incoming governor Kathy Hochul, during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" program Sunday, said masks for kids in schools were "something that I believe has to occur" for the safety of children, teachers, school administrators and the wider community.

This report produced by Chris Dignam.

NY's new gov says masks at schools are necessary

Incoming New York Governor Kathy Hochul said on Sunday that she supported mask mandates for children in school as a necessary safety step... for helping the state get through a new wave of COVID-19 infections.

Hochul said on CNN's "State of the Union" that masks for kids in schools was "something that I believe has to occur," but added that she would remain flexible and consider all options as the circumstances change.

The director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, told Fox News on Sunday that there was a "very strong" case for masks in schools, saying outbreaks are happening in schools where kids are not wearing face coverings, forcing them to go back to remote learning.

Masks have become a divisive issue, often splitting the country along political lines, despite near universal agreement among health experts that they can limit the spread of the virus.

Republican governors, including Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida, are fighting to enforce their bans on mask mandates, and uphold them in court, as they face legal challenges over their statewide orders that prevent local officials from deciding whether to require that masks be worn.

Last week, California became the first U.S. state to require that teachers and other school staff be vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19, a move Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom called a "responsible step." Hochul said on Sunday that she lacked the power to require that school employees be vaccinated, because it was an authority only the legislature could give the governor.

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