'Getting the work done.' Gov. Hochul talks mask mandates, gun violence, changing political culture in exclusive with Tara Rosenblum
News 12 Senior Investigative Reporter Tara Rosenblum continues her exclusive one-on-one interview with Gov. Kathy Hochul to discuss mask mandates, gun violence and the changing political culture in state politics.
Hochul on lifting the remaining COVID-19 mask mandates in New York.
"What happened with the federal transit agencies, that law was changed not because it wasn't needed anymore, but because of a procedural reason whether or not the CDC had the jurisdiction to do that. Here in New York, we are seeing cases go up. They're not going up dramatically like they did in January. But we went from feeling very good in November to having 90,000 new cases on Jan. 12. We're not anywhere near that. But we are seeing a trend going upwards so now's not the time in a very densely populated congested environment. Our subways, our trains - to say they can come off. They will come off. I want them to come off, but I can't as governor...I can't ignore those trends right now. If they plateau start coming down very soon, we'll have the conversation again really soon."
Hochul also shared what it was like learning of the recent subway shootings in Brooklyn.
"That was tough to process in that moment. I had to get on the scene to go where people were hurting on the subway, the MTA, in Brooklyn, in a predominantly Asian and Hispanic community where we didn't know whether it was targeted toward them. Whether it was just a random act. And there's a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear. And I'm a mother. And when I sense that someone is fearful and feeling that anxiety, I go to help heal, and that's why I took the subway that night. That's why I went to the hospital and consoled a woman, an Asian mother who was waiting to see if her 16-year-old son was going to lose his hand and she was traumatized. She knew no English, and I had the longest hug with her I've ever had my life because she was sobbing in my arms. That is what I want to keep doing as governor, it's like showing up, showing compassion and then helping individuals."
When asked how she felt she has most changed the culture in the governor's office since she's been there, Hochul replied:
"I can't tell you how many elected officials say they noticed a difference, whether its state officials, statewide officials, assembly members, senators or local government who say when they call and they need help, whether its a snowstorm in Binghamton...or dealing with effects of COVID or dealing with the effects of anything that’s going on. We are there to help them and we don't put people through the ringer. We just say 'You know what? We're all on the same team, it's not about who gets credit.' It's about getting the work done."