Rockland County Executive Ed Day told FOX Business on Tuesday that he will not be enforcing New York Gov. Kathy Hochul's indoor mask mandate, arguing that focusing on the face covering requirement "makes no sense."
Day told "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" on Tuesday that the move is "not about politics," it's about "a return to the failed playbook of a predecessor."
"It’s about someone 120 miles north of Rockland County taking action without even asking the county executives here in the mid- Hudson region if it’s going to make sense," he continued, noting that taking that action would completely or significantly preempt the county’s "ability to do exactly what we’ve been told needs to be done: get vaccines into the arms of people."
On Friday Gov. Kathy Hochul announced masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement in an effort to curb a potential surge in winter COVID-19 cases.
The state is expected to reassess the measure on January 15, following the spike in tourists the city typically welcomes during the holidays.
More than 70% of New Yorkers completed the vaccine series, according to the data.
As of Dec. 12, the positivity rate in the state was 5%.
Day told host Neil Cavuto that his county has been "very successful" in getting people vaccinated, but warned that redistributing resources is counter-productive to the cause:
"If you take my people off the vaccination line and support staff for clinics and have them walking around Rockland County trying to figure out who’s wearing a mask or not, that is not a good use of resources and frankly makes no sense."
When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Hochul directed FOX Business to comments she made at a news conference earlier on Tuesday, during which she said her responsibility as governor is "to protect the health and well-being of New Yorkers."
She acknowledged that actions related to trying to keep people safe are not being made "to win any popularity contests."
"I will always do what's right for the people of the state and right now we are still in a pandemic," Hochul said, noting that cases and hospitalizations are escalating while "the number who are vaccinated is not where it should be."
"I would not be overconfident in any county about their current state of affairs with respect to this situation because we just don't know what the future will bring," she continued. "This is a preemptive, very un-intrusive approach compared to shutting down schools and churches and synagogues and places of work like we saw before."
Hochul ensured that she "will not go to that space."
"I'm doing everything I can to protect people while we're still in a pandemic," she stressed.
Also in New York, the incoming Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, a Republican, said Tuesday he will direct the county's health department not to enforce Hochul's latest indoor mask requirement, Newsday reported.
Day told Cavuto that "once we got out from under the thumb of the former governor we started rocking and rolling here in Rockland County, getting things done."
He noted that 85% of the population over 18 and 95% of those over 65 have been vaccinated in his county.
"Our hospital numbers are down, our infection rates are low, and we monitor this every day - so when the time comes that we need to take action, we will," Day said.