Governor Hochul is expected to announce today that the mask mandate is over, but that hasn't stopped the Dutchess County Executive from criticizing the news before it even happens.

Marc Molinaro has delivered a statement ripping the governor's stance on the mask mandate ahead of her planned speech, calling for an investigation into corruption due to the state's response to the pandemic.

Several sources confirm that Hochul will allow the mandate to lapse on Thursday when it's scheduled to expire.

In the statement, Molinaro says that he won't be happy until all children can go maskless at school and that the governor is investigated for corruption. The county executive has been set against mask mandates ever since he announced his candidacy for congress. During the omicron surge, Molinaro was one of a group of county executives in New York who refused to enforce the mandate.

As Governor Hochul ponders lifting the mask mandate in New York, as so many other states have already announced, it must be done across the board, including in our schools and daycares. We know there is harm to our youngest learners, particularly those with disabilities, when forced to mask all day.

Hochul met yesterday with teachers, administrators and parents to discuss ways to roll back the mask mandate in schools when it expires later this month. Many who were at the meeting indicated that change could be coming soon.

However, Molinaro is demanding the governor immediately lift mask mandates in schools, saying, "as we move forward, rather than continued restrictions, we must aggressively open access to treatment and interventions to help those who do contract COVID recover quickly and fully."

In response to several states dropping their mask mandates, the CDC has said that now is "not the moment" to end mask-wearing in schools, although the department did concede that we could be there soon.

Molinaro's statement precedes the Governor's statement scheduled for later today where she's also expected to address masking for K to 12 students.

Molinaro is also asking for an investigation styled after New York State's Moreland Commission, which was established in 2013 by Governor Cuomo to investigate corruption.

Further, New York owes the families torn apart, businesses shuttered and lives lost a thorough review and investigation of pandemic response. The establishment of a Moreland-style commission would provide transparency, accountability,  and go a long way toward respecting those who live on with much loss and restoring credibility.

It's unclear if Hochul will directly respond to Molinaro's complaints and demands for an investigation during her speech later today.

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