New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said Sunday that Christians who forgo vaccination against COVID-19 “aren’t listening to God,” whom she said “wants” them to take the shots.
Hochul, who replaced disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, made the comments during a speech at the Christian Cultural Center in the Bronx. Her remarks came just one day before her vaccine mandate for health care workers took effect.
“Yes, I know you’re vaccinated,” she said to the crowd. “You’re the smart ones, but, you know, there are people out there who aren’t listening to God and what God wants. You know, this — you know who you are.”
The governor went on to say she needed vaccinated believers in the crowd to be her “apostles,” drawing a comparison between evangelism and encouraging people to get inoculated against COVID-19.
“I need you to go out and talk about it and say, ‘We owe this to each other,’” Hochul said. “We love each other. Jesus taught us to love one another. And how do you show that love but to care about each other enough to say, ‘Please get vaccinated, because I love you. I want you to live.’”
The leftist governor has been fighting those seeking religious exemptions from vaccination.
She said in mid-September she is “not aware of a sanctioned religious exemption from any organized religion,” arguing faith leaders “are encouraging the opposite.”
“Everybody from the pope on down is encouraging people to get vaccinated,” she said.
Hochul went on to state her administration will “defend the right of New York to ensure that anyone in a health care facility can meet a patient and that patient does not have to worry when they go in there for health care that they’re gonna contract a virus from one of the people that are supposed to protect their health.”
Her comments came after U.S. District Judge David Hurd issued a temporary restraining order against the state, barring it from enforcing the edict on 17 health professionals — including nurses and doctors — who argued in their court filing that the mandate violets their constitutional rights by disallowing faith-based exemptions.
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