Andrew Giuliani, a Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York and the son of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, complained in an interview Friday that face masks « start to deteriorate » and produce « particles. » He made the comments while attacking COVID-19 mandates imposed on schools.
On conservative network OAN’s The Real Story With Natalie Harp, Giuliani criticized mask mandates put in place by Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul. Harp played a clip of Hochul stating this month that wearing masks in schools is « not that big a deal » and was done in order to help saves lives.
« I just think about all of the other issues that come with this for children, » Giuliani said in response. « When these masks start to deteriorate, you can see with your own eyes, you can actually see the particles that are coming out of the mask. »
Some Twitter users on Saturday mocked Giuliani’s statement. User @kade6767, for example, wrote that Giuliani should probably not « wear the same paper mask for 6 months. »
Giuliani added: « But also think about the idea of actually communicating and how important it is to be able to see somebody’s lips, especially as you are learning the language. Ninety percent of communication is nonverbal, so if you take that away from kids, then there’s obviously going to be some learning issues. »
Giuliani called Hochul’s mask mandate a « one-size fits all solution. » The 35-year-old Republican has long been a vocal critic of COVID-19 measures and has been seen defying state mask mandates while campaigning for governor.
Giuliani announced his bid for governor in April, calling himself a « politician out of the womb. » The comment was in reference to his father, who served as a Republican mayor in New York City from 1994 to 2001.
The 35-year-old is set to run for the GOP nomination in 2022 against New York Representative Lee Zeldin. In May, Giuliani told the New York Post that he believes his chances of winning the nomination are extremely high.
« I believe we have the best chance to win if I’m the Republican candidate in November. It’s not even close, » he said.
Giuliani’s comments come as children in New York have been required to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, since the school year opened for in-person instruction this fall. Earlier this month, Hochul moved to implement an additional indoor mask mandate for residents as COVID-19 cases surge throughout the state.
« I have warned for weeks that additional steps could be necessary, and now we are at that point based upon three metrics: Increasing cases, reduced hospital capacity, and insufficient vaccination rates in certain areas, » Hochul said in a December 10 statement.
New York is now reporting a daily average of more than 25,000 new cases, marking a 166 percent increase over the past two weeks, according to data from the New York Times. The state has been hit hard by the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant, which now accounts for more than 90 percent of new cases.