Unvaccinated people 'aren't listening to God:’ is NY Gov. Hochul right?

Mark Lennihan / AP

Fact Box

  • New York’s 57th and first female governor, Kathy Hochul, was the Lieutenant Governor from 2015-2021 until Andrew Cuomo resigned in August 2021.
  • Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke to NYC’s Christian Cultural Center on Sunday, September 26, 2021, to push COVID vaccines, saying, “God did answer our prayers. He made the smartest men and women, the scientists, the doctors, the researchers - he made them come up with a vaccine. That is from God to us [...] All of you, yes, I know you're vaccinated, you're the smart ones, but you know there's people out there who aren't listening to God and what God wants. [...] I need you to be my apostles. I need you to go out and talk about it [...] 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 the vaccine [...]”
  • As of October 1, 2021, there have been over 44 million COVID cases in the US, with more than 35 million recoveries. An Israeli study found that natural immunity from COVID recoveries offers longer lasting defense against viruses than vaccinated immunity. 
  • Currently, over half of the US population has been fully vaccinated, with 75.5% having at least one dose. Johns Hopkins research shows COVID spikes are rising threefold despite half the country being fully vaccinated.

JessiRae (Yes)

Kathy Hochul championed the Lord's name when she stated those who are yet to be vaccinated 'aren't listening to God.' Healing is God's work. All medical professionals and researchers were brought here by God, guided in their work by His divinity. In denying the vaccine, God's love is denied. The spirit of Jesus lives in those who heal. 

To forgo the vaccine is to jeopardize the gift of life God bestowed to the human race. Some New York healthcare professionals will not be allowed to return to work without being vaccinated for COVID-19. Kathy Hochul is ready to defend New York by declaring a state of emergency. This will allow the government to speed up visa approvals for medical professionals. 

Hochul's office reported as of September 22 that 84% of New York hospital employees were vaccinated. Hochul's service at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn was a call to arms for those vaccinated to encourage others to get protected from COVID-19. Calling those who spread the word about vaccines her 'apostles.' 

While Hochul did essentially call those unvaccinated not the “smart ones,” as she did the vaccinated, her frustration is understandable. Hochul wants what’s best for her constituents, and that includes urging the unvaccinated to get vaccinated immediately for the safety of every person. As Deuteronomy 30:19 says, 'I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.' Choosing life, as she said, is the same as “listening to God” and is ultimately best for this nation.

Stephanie (No)

It was inappropriate for New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to make the blanket statement that unvaccinated people 'aren't listening to God' in their refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In many cases in this country and worldwide, it is the opposite: religious people often trust God more than their government. For others, their religion may prohibit medical intervention such as vaccines.

Hochul spoke at a church where she praised God for His protection throughout the pandemic and for creating frontline healthcare workers. Yet her faith appeared to end there when she continued to promote the vaccine as a cure-all instead of trusting God for protection or promoting the power of prayer. Hochul referenced Jesus' teachings about loving one another, which are absolutely relevant now more than ever. However, it is a bit of a stretch to suggest that Jesus would be pro-vax. It is also hypocritical for Hochul to cite the Bible while being pro-choice, as abortion is a blatant violation of the Ten Commandments and is a highly controversial topic for many secular and religious groups.

The hypocrisy behind this type of condemnation is undeniable from a political perspective. Hochul, a Democrat, used references to God, Jesus, and the Bible to evoke an emotional response; however, a Republican politician doing the same would be more likely to be labeled a 'Christian nationalist' or extremist. Yet Hochul went as far as to imply that getting vaccinated is somehow part of God's will in saying that doing so is 'what God wants.' Not only is Hochul making numerous assumptions, but she is using religion as a way to promote a political agenda, suggesting that she may be the one not listening to God.

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