Libertarian Party of New York reached out to all Sheriffs in North Country. Sheriffs in Lewis and Franklin County Confirm Non-Enforcement of Governor Hochul’s Mask Mandate.
Albany, New York, December 23, 2021: In response to Governor Hochul’s executive order requiring masks in all public places in New York State as of Monday, December 13th, the Libertarian Party of New York (LPNY) reached out to all of the County Sheriffs in North Country. The LPNY got confirmation from Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill and Lewis County Sheriff Mike Carpinelli that they will not enforce Hochul’s mask mandates.
As an extension of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s legacy, Governor Kathy Hochul made executive decisions in response to the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Cuomo’s executive orders resulted in many thousands of seniors dying in nursing homes, in numbers that were found to be underreported. Additionally, over 71% of New Yorkers have had two vaccine doses, and over 82% have had at least one dose. With vaccines widely available, it can be deduced that anyone who has not been vaccinated at this point understands the risks and has chosen to make their own medical decisions.
The Libertarian Party of New York (LPNY) created an interactive mask mandate tracker to show the actual response to Governor Kathy Hochul’s mask mandate. At the time, Sheriffs and/or District Attorneys in 19 counties had already confirmed that they would not enforce the mask mandates, while 8 counties including all of the boroughs of New York City have confirmed that they will enforce the mandate. With more than half of the counties being unclear on their position, representatives of the LPNY began contacting sheriffs, beginning with North Country as part of an anti-mandate awareness campaign.
Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill said, “The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office does not have the staff nor the desire to enforce the mask mandate.”
This brought to light two of the issues surrounding the mandates. First, enforcement comes at a cost to taxpayers, which could be utilized for other law enforcement activities. Second, New Yorkers are divided on this issue. This is largely due to geographic factors, where mandates will be enforced in densely populated New York City, and not enforced in less populated areas.
Lewis County Sheriff Mike Carpinelli said, “If the person wearing the mask is already protected and the person who has the vaccine is as well, then we all should be fine and respect each other’s medical freedom. As for enforcement of either, it is not law enforcement’s responsibility, but rather (their responsibility is) to protect each individual’s liberties and constitutional freedoms.”
The Libertarian Party of New York will continue with its statewide awareness campaign against mandates. Many counties have confirmed that they will not enforce mandates, while several have yet to clarify their positions. The results will be tracked on an interactive map at https://lpny.org/mask-mandate-enforcement-tracker/
1st Vice Chair
Libertarian Party of New York