What is your stance on the role vaccination should play in mitigating the impact of disease? Do you support making vaccination mandatory in schools and other institutions? How will you protect our communities from Coronavirus and other similar viruses that will be brought on by the melting of permafrost? (question asked by Sunrise Ithaca)

I fully support and accept the science of vaccinations and believe we will continue to need and develop new vaccinations because of emerging diseases caused by new contacts, species jumping, climate change and permafrost melting. As this pandemic has reminded many of us, we are all in this together and providing a healthy environment for all our citizens is absolutely critical, and this clearly must begin with our children. In addition, I support the science, the data, and the public health policy behind this approach which has been developed and scientifically refined over decades.

         Giving children a healthy start in life, no matter where they are born or the circumstances of their birth, is the moral obligation of every one of us. I find it heartbreaking that 3 million people, most of them children, die each year from diseases that we can prevent with simple, inexpensive vaccines. These are children who would have grown up to support their families, their communities, their nations. They would have been productive members of societies that are still developing and need their children to be healthy and strong. By preventing these deaths, we not only would save children’s lives, but we also would help strengthen communities and contribute to the development of strong and prosperous nations. - Nelson Mandela         

I fully support mandatory vaccinations for children attending public schools.

The only way to truly protect our communities from diseases like COVID-19 or similar ones released through the melting permafrost is to prevent them from being released to begin with. This means we need to work to prevent climate change, stop drilling in the Arctic, prevent species jumping through contact in our rainforests, and more. We must prevent climate change to prevent these from being released. But we also must prepare for them. We must move to healthcare for all as a human right, which is why I support the NY Health Act. Once someone gets sick they must be able to get the help they need. We must invest in our healthcare infrastructure at the state and federal level. We also need to restore public confidence in science through education.