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Reed does not support mask mandate

Tom Reed

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed doesn’t want to predict if he believes the courts will overturn the mask mandate in New York state, but he does say he’s not a fan of it.

On Monday, State Supreme Court Judge Thomas Rademaker ruled the mask mandate was illegal. The next day, Appellate Division Justice Robert Miller granted the state’s request to keep the masking rule in place while the governor’s administration pursues an appeal.

During a conference call with area media Wednesday, including the OBSERVER and The Post-Journal, Reed was asked about the situation.

“I think mandates are not generally the most effective tool,” he said. “You mandate it, you’re forcing people as opposed to encourage people, inspire people and educate people. I think that’s how to get more people to follow down that path.”

Reed said he supports both masks and vaccines, but he also respects people’s right to choose in regards to their health. “The mask mandate is no different,” he said.

In terms of federal matters, Reed was asked about both the situation with Russia and Ukraine as well as the Federal Reserve regarding increasing interest rates.

Reed said he’s watching the Russia/Ukraine growing tension very closely. “I’m very concerned we have been sending mixed messages from the White House like has been done with President Biden. It causes a lot of anxiety. The worst case scenario is miscalculation. I’m appreciative that the administration and those in Congress are uniting with a clear voice recently that says if Russia acts, there will be severe consequences to it,” he said.

He also said that he’s concerned that if Russia goes ahead and invades Ukraine and there aren’t consequences, he could see a similar problem with China and Taiwan.

Referring to the Federal Reserve, Reed said he wasn’t going weigh in on whether or not the interest rate should be increased, but he is concerned that if the rates go too high, it will hurt citizens, especially because of the country’s high debt load. “That traditional tool in the tool box of raising interest rates to try and control inflation is a very limited tool now, given the national debt crisis … That ripple effect will crush the American taxpayer because we’re going to have to pay higher interest rates on our debt and that national debt is a big problem,” he said.

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