Hochul defends mask policy

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Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday morning she’s not trying to win any popularity contest, she’s simply trying to save lives.

In New York City Tuesday, defending her mask mandate policy, the governor pointed out the COVID positivity number in New York state since Thanksgiving is up 58%.

She also pointed out hospitalizations are up 70% since Thanksgiving.

She’s concerned about another surge following Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebration.

Gov. Hochul also acknowledged what she calls the cataclysmic effect the pandemic has already had on Americans and New Yorkers, as she sent a message to business owners across New York.

“My desire, my objective with this mask or vax mandate has been to keep you open,” said Hochul. “Every single day you’re a critical part of the state’s economy, an important part of our communities.”

There are still 30% of New Yorkers who have not been vaccinated. Hochul said if we had 100% of the population vaccinated, she wouldn’t be holding a news conference.

MORE INFORMATION: New York State coronavirus dashboard | Vaccine tracker