Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday addressed the attack on Salman Rushdie at the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York.
She said, “It is heartbreaking to learn that within the last hour, a prominent individual, Salman Rushdie, was attacked on a stage in Western New York, just before he was about to give a speech. He is alive. He has been transported, airlifted to safety, but he is an individual who has spent decades speaking truth to power. Someone who's been out there unafraid despite the threats that have followed him his entire adult life, it seems. And it happened at a site that is a place that's very familiar to me. A very tranquil, rural community known as Chautauqua, Chautauqua Institution, where the most preeminent speakers and thought leaders and politicians and justices, and everyone come together to have the free expression of thought.
“So, this is a place ideally suited for him to be able to speak, and that's what he was attempting to do just in the last hour before he was attacked. And I want to commend the State Police. It was a state police officer who stood up and saved his life, protected him, as well as the moderator who was attacked, as well. We're monitoring the situation, but he's getting the care he needs at a local hospital. We will be giving more information on the identity of the perpetrator and the case that'll be brought in that part of the state.
“So, I just wanted to share that with you, because it hits right here. It hits all of us; but we are undeterred then. We are undeterred in our commitment to make sure that we call it out, we condemn what happened, we condemn all violence, and we want people to feel that freedom to speak and to write truth. And I'll continue to protect that every single day as your governor.”