New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks during virtual remarks to Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021. | YouTube/ Governor Kathy Hochul
The governor of New York encouraged a Baptist congregation to “spread love” and “spread friendship” during the Christmas season rather than the coronavirus as she pleaded with churchgoers to get vaccinated.
Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, delivered a video message to Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn on Sunday. She touched on various issues, including gun violence, education and COVID-19 vaccination. Hochul’s speech took place as concerns about the omicron variant of the coronavirus have led several colleges and school districts to suspend in-person learning.
“So during this holiday season, I have one request. We don’t want to spread COVID. We will spread love and we will spread friendship and spread the love of Christ during this holiday season,” stated the 63-year-old politician.
“Remember why we are together. It was the birth of Christ that we honor and we celebrate. And that is the spirit that fills all of us during Christmas. And let’s not lose sight of that. We all have each other and we’re going to continue to fight for each other, protect each other because that’s what Christ would want us to do.”
Hochul spoke about her upbringing in the 1960s, describing herself as a member of a “social justice Catholic family where we didn’t just listen to the teachings of Christ on weekends, we also put … those words into action.”
“My parents helped start a neighborhood center to help people who had so many needs. And as a child, I went and saw this in person and realized all of us are called to serve,” she continued.
Describing herself as “hard-wired since the very beginning to serve God’speople,” she cited her ascendancy to the governorship as the latest example of how she had been “pulled to public service.”
“That sense of faith has guided me on the right path every single day,” she maintained. “As I asked God for … his prayers, and I ask all of you for your prayers to continue to lift me up.”
Hochul spent most of her remarks focusing on the efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
As she wore a necklace emblazoned with the word “vaxxed,” the governor called on worshipers to “take advantage” of the available “defenses” to “fight against this omicron.”
“Get our grandkids vaccinated. I don’t want anybody else to miss a single day of school,” she added.
“We have to rebuild them. We have to get them back in a classroom, get them in that nurturing environment,” she added.
The governor’s video appearance at Bethany Baptist Church was not her first attempt to encourage the faithful to take the coronavirus vaccine.
“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 because I love you and I want you to live,’” Hochul stated at the time.
“I want our kids to be safe when they’re in schools. I want to be safe when you go to a doctor’soffice or to a hospital and are treated by somebody. You don’t want to get the virus from them.”
In August, then-Lt. Gov. Hochul became the first female governor of New York when her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, resigned after a state attorney general investigation concluded that he had sexually harassed several women.