Congratulations to Kathy Hochul assuming New York’s governorship. We wish her success. Her first tasks are vitally important and go beyond mere safety.
The new Governor moved immediately and decisively on COVID-19 for the safety of New York citizens directing the NYS Department of Health to institute a universal mask requirement in all schools.
She first addressed the health and safety of all New Yorkers. Now she has to assure that those policies are the most responsible and appropriate. What is the efficacy of masks? What measures work best for what ages? Where do natural and acquired immunity fit. Can vaccines address the many variants?
The Governor has to validate that those safety decisions are based on the best science. New Yorkers are willing to go along with the science about masks and COVID-19, but science requires evidence based on controlled, reproduceable studies openly examined.
The CDC has made that difficult, refusing to release data behind its policies and, in some cases, making decisions based only on anecdotal evidence. Meanwhile, the National Institute of Health has yet to aggressively study therapeutics that appear to have been successfully used elsewhere.
The Governor’s responsibility goes beyond narrow safety concerns to weigh potential risk set against social consequences, economic impact, and quality of life.
Positive virus test results are a poor measure to use to set blanket policies for everyone. School policies appropriate for health-compromised students may negatively affect the growth of other students. Business policies that protect some at-risk workers might cripple businesses others depend on. Isolating the aged and infirm may be the wisest way to allow others to work to support their families.
Yes, congratulations to Kathy Hochul. We have seen enough of her at work during local visits to expect her to hold others responsible for what they propose about COVID-19.