Assemblyman Mark Walczyk (R,C,I-Watertown) applauded Gov. Kathy Hochul’s decision to delay imposing a mandate that would have required all health care workers to receive a COVID-19 booster or risk losing their jobs. Walczyk was among the members of the Assembly Minority Conference who had written to the governor and state Department of Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett last week requesting the plan be reconsidered.
“This is a victory for health care workers who have already given so much of themselves in service to our state throughout the pandemic,” said Walczyk. “The executive has repeatedly stepped outside of her lane, and the people of the Front Yard of America and all across New York are tired of being dictated to regarding how they live their lives. People have been safe, but it is time to let people get back to their lives, get back to their businesses and get kids back to learning.”
Walczyk and his colleagues pointed out to the governor that her plan to require further vaccine mandates would only add to the existing staffing shortages at hospitals and health care facilities, particularly in rural parts of the state. While they suggested instead an opt-out testing alternative, he said he is pleased to see the plan, for now at least, appears to have been scrapped.
Walczyk said, “It appears the governor has learned from her mistake in requiring the initial vaccine and is heeding our call. It’s good to see her listening to reason on this issue. I hope she will follow suit when it comes to allowing kids back to school without masking and other policies that are simply no longer needed and causing more trouble than they are worth.”