New York Governor Kathy Hochul is catching heat over pictures she posted to Twitter in which the recently-elevated governor was not wearing a mask at a packed sports bar while cheering on her hometown Buffalo Bills – despite her mandate forcing children as young as two years old to don face coverings to attend daycare.
New Yorkers quickly slammed Hochul as a hypocrite, with many pointing out that the 63-year-old governor, who is vaccinated, is still at a much greater risk of contracting COVID at a bar – where no one else in the photo was wearing a mask – than kids face in school.
Hochul got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in March, but a recent study warned that the J&J shot’s protection fell from 88 percent in March to just three percent in August.
‘You – even as a vaccinated person – are at exponentially higher risk than an unvaccinated child,’ one fed-up parent posted. ‘Tell me why a child has to mask for 6 hours a day in school and you can freely do this whenever you want. Makes zero sense.’
On Sunday, Hochul posted pictures of herself mask less enjoying beers with constituents in a packed bar while cheering on the Buffalo Bills
Hochul was following state law in the pics- vaccinated New Yorkers are no longer required to wear masks at indoor or outdoor venues
‘Thanks to New Yorkers getting vaccinated, Buffalo Bills fans can cheer on our team and enjoy Labatt Blue together again! Keep it up, New York!’ she captioned pics of her at a bar
Most children who contract COVID-19 either have mild cases or are asymptomatic, not tending to get seriously ill or to die
Hochul posted the controversial photo Monday as the Bills played the Tennessee Titans, showing her holding a beer and meeting with other maskless constituents at the crowded bar.
She captioned the post: ‘Thanks to New Yorkers getting vaccinated, Buffalo Bills fans can cheer on our team and enjoy Labatt Blue together again! Keep it up, New York!’
The outcry over the tone-deaf tweet and photo soon followed.
‘This is really upsetting! Our kids are all masked up and you are out and about having a great time. To mask a two year old!!!!!!! disgraceful,’ another person tweeted.
Most children who contract COVID-19 either have mild cases or are asymptomatic, not tending to get seriously ill or to die.
‘You make two year old’s mask when they’re statistically at less risk than anyone pictured here,’ another person tweeted.
Hochul announced the mask mandate for children ages two and up and for all staff and visitors at all state-regulated child care facilities in September.
A study released last Thursday but not peer-reviewed tracked more than 620,000 military veterans who received the J&J vaccine and found the drastic drop in protection to just three percent.
In comparison, Moderna’s vaccine effectiveness fell from 92 percent to 64 percent. Pfizer’s vaccine protection dropped from 91 percent to 50 percent.
At the time of getting the vaccine, Hochul said she wanted to convey confidence in the vaccine, which had a significantly lower effective rate that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Wxxinews.org reported.
Hochul (pictured) is fully vaccinated, haven gotten the ‘one and done’ Johnson and Johnson vaccine back in March
‘I’m aware that in certain communities there’s a hesitation about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,’ Hochul said. ‘People are talking about this on social media. People are spreading rumors, lies.’
She added she has ‘100% confidence’ in all three vaccines.’
Hochul’s night out did follow state law though: vaccinated New Yorkers are no longer required to wear masks at indoor or outdoor venues.
But recently, another study from the state’s Department of Health (DOH) found that efficacy against infection declined for all three major vaccines by as much as 25 percent.
That study – which also was not yet peer reviewed – was posted online at the preprint server medRxiv on October 9.
The study honed in on Hochul’s state – looking at 8.8 million adults living in New York – of whom about two-thirds were fully vaccinated.
The researchers focused their analysis between May 1 and August 28, 2021, during which the Delta variant went from accounting for two percent of cases in the state to 99 percent of cases.
In that time, vaccine effectiveness against infection declined during the Delta surge, with fully vaccinated New Yorkers more likely to have a positive Covid test during this time than they had been earlier in 2021.
J&J vaccine recipients saw reduced protection from Covid infection, with a 19 percent decline for those ages 18 to 49, and 11 percent declines for those ages 50 to 64, Hochul’s age group.
For Pfizer vaccine recipients between the ages of 18 and 49, vaccine effectiveness against infection declined by 25 percent during the Delta surge.
Effectiveness declined by 19 percent for Pfizer recipients ages 50 to 64, and by 14 percent for Pfizer recipients over age 65.
Moderna vaccine recipients saw similar effectiveness declines: 18 percent decline for those ages 18 to 49, 14 percent decline for those ages 50 to 64, and nine percent decline for those over age 65.
This finding suggests that the immune system was not facing ‘waning immunity’ from reduced antibodies, the team said.
Instead, the increase in breakthrough cases was ‘highly correlated’ with Delta’s takeover of the Covid landscape in New York state.
Once Delta fully dominated New York cases – at 85 percent prevalence – the researchers saw vaccine effectiveness plateau, further suggesting that this highly contagious variant was behind the drop.