Live Updates: Kathy Hochul Gives First Public Address After Swearing-In as New York Governor

Live Updates

Kathy Hochul addressed the public Tuesday afternoon after officially becoming New York's 57th governor, and the state's first female to hold the office.

Hochul, 62, replaced former Governor Andrew Cuomo, who resigned following the release of a state attorney general report concluding he sexually harassed 11 women in the workplace. She was sworn in shortly after midnight in a brief ceremony and took part in a second, ceremonial swearing-in event at 10 a.m. Tuesday before addressing the public at 3 p.m.

In her address, Hochul promised a "fresh and collaborative" approach to state governance and outlined a list of priorities for her administration, from providing more mental health resources to New Yorkers to addressing systemic racism. One of the most immediate of those priorities is COVID-19.

Hochul called for vaccine requirements, or a weekly testing option, for all school personnel and "universal masking" in schools to protect children. A series of "school-related policies" will be announced this week, she said.

Hochul also indicated that the state was preparing to rollout booster shots, launch a "targeted campaign" to provide more COVID-19 relief funds and impose more vaccine requirements after the FDA fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Monday.

"None of us want a rerun of last year's horrors with COVID-19. Therefore, we will take proactive steps to prevent that from happening," she said.

Another priority addressed by Hochul was the issue of sexual harassment. She announced that she would launch an "overhaul" on New York's policies on sexual harassment and ethics. This includes live sexual harassment training so people can't "click their way through a class," and required ethics training for every New York state government employee "which shockingly is not required across the board," Hochul said.

Hochul asserted to New Yorkers that "she would not be deterred" and is "willing to be bloodied and marred in the pursuit of doing what's right."

"Today, for the first time in New York history, a woman will enter that arena as governor. As I undertake the weighty responsibilities before me, know that I have the confidence, the courage and the ability to lead New Yorkers forward and make New York's women proud," she said.

The live updates for this event have ended.

Gov. Kathy Hochul Gives Public Address
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul gave her first public address Tuesday after replacing former Gov. Andrew Cuomo in office. Hochul speaks after taking her ceremonial oath of office at the New York State Capitol on August 24, 2021 in Albany, New York. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Hochul Outlines Priorities of Administration, From COVID Fight to Addressing Systemic Racism

Gov. Kathy Hochul outlined a range of priorities for the duration of administration, the most immediate being to "escape the oppression of a deadly virus and make our schools and workplaces safe to return."

She also listed restoring trust between communities and law enforcement, investing in mental health resources to promote safety and "address the root problems of crime," targeting systemic racism, help small businesses and jobless New Yorkers and ensure that "any barriers to success and opportunity" for women are "eradicated."

Hochul said that it was time to "show the world that 'Ever Upward' is more than just our state's motto.

"It's who we are, and it's where we're going," she said.

Hochul 'Willing to Be Bloodied and Marred" To Do What's Right For New Yorkers

Gov. Kathy Hochul said that "she would not be deterred" and is "willing to be bloodied and marred in the pursuit of doing what's right" for New Yorkers while addressing the public Tuesday.

She cited a speech from former President Teddy Roosevelt, which spoke of a man in an arena "marred by dust and sweat and blood, in stark contrast to the timid souls on the sidelines."

"Today, for the first time in New York history, a woman will enter that arena as governor. As I undertake the weighty responsibilities before me, know that I have the confidence, the courage and the ability to lead New Yorkers forward and make New York's women proud. You'll find me to be direct, straight talking and decisive," she said.

Hochul Promises 'Fresh and Collaborative' Approach to State Governance

Gov. Kathy Hochul promised that New York would see a "fresh and collaborative" approach to state governance as she assumed her new role as governor. Changing the "culture in Albany" is one of the immediate priorities of her administration, she said.

"We must and will work together," Hochul said.

"I've already reached out my hand in friendship to many elected officials who too are eager for a new relationship with the state," she added.

Hochul Said Preparing Booster Shots for New Yorkers a Priority

Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday that one of her priorities in the fight against COVID-19 was to prepare to rollout vaccine booster shots and make sure they're distributed "quickly and reliably."

She said that she had consulted with Dr. Anthony Fauci last week, and they "discussed the urgent need to ensure vaccinated individuals receive a booster dose at eight months."

"I'm prepared to do whatever is necessary, including reopening mass [vaccine] sites so a booster is available to all New Yorkers who meet that timetable," she said.

Hochul 'Not At All Satisfied' With Pace of COVID Relief Funds

Gov. Kathy Hochul said during public remarks Tuesday that she's "not at all satisfied with the pace" of getting "long overdue' COVID-19 assistance funds to New Yorkers.

"I want the money out now. I want it out with no more excuses or delays," she said.

Hochul said that she met with the New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins earlier Tuesday, and they "are unified in our sense of urgency that that money get out to the people in need."

She announced that they are launching a "targeted campaign" to help more state residents with rent relief.

"New Yorkers should know: if you apply and qualify for this money, you will be protected from eviction for a solid year," she said.

Hochul Launches Overhaul of New York Policies on Sexual Harassment

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced during public remarks that she's directing an "overhaul of state government policies on sexual harassment and ethics" in response to the allegations of sexual harassment that led to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo's ousting from office.

This includes requiring sexual harassment training be conducted live, so people can't "click their way through a class."

She promised a "new era of transparency" and "open ethical governance."

"I'll sign an executive order requiring ethics training for every employee of New York state government, which shockingly is not required across the board," she said.

New Yorkers Can Expect Vaccine Requirements, Universal Masking in Schools, Hochul Says

Gov. Kathy Hochul promised that New York would see vaccine requirements for all school personnel and "universal masking" in schools.

"None of us want a rerun of last year's horrors with COVID-19. Therefore, we will take proactive steps to prevent that from happening," she said.

"This week, I'll announce a series of school-related policies. They'll be concise and consistent, giving the school districts what they have been asking for," she added.

'You May Not Know Me, But I Know You," Hochul Promises New Yorkers

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul promised New Yorkers Tuesday that "you may not know me, but I know you" as she takes office.

She spoke of the influences of her family and women who paved the way for her to assume her position, such as the suffragettes, and promised that she's "embraced" the "hopes and dreams" of residents in her state.

"I want you to know you are heard," she said.