Collins and Hochul speak out about cancer comment
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LANCASTER, N.Y. — Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Hochul and her opponent for the new 27th district, Republican Chris Collins, both spent Wednesday afternoon at the Village of Lancaster's Independence Day parade - a day after Hochul called Collins out for a comment he made in The Batavian
Collins was quoted, in part, as saying: "People now don't die from prostate cancer, breast cancer, and some of the other things."
Hochul says the former Erie County executive demonstrated a "stunning lack of sensitivity" because nearly 70,000 people will die this year from these two types of cancer.
"Thank God we have preventative care now available through the Affordable Care Act that's going to prevent more of that, so I think when you have this discourse, you want to engage in the national debate on this, you've got to have your facts right," said Hochul.
In the article, Collins went on to say that healthcare is much better now and people are living longer.
He says Hochul is out of bounds.
"In the context, I was clearly stating that there's been advances in technology that are saving people's lives like my sister, who's a breast cancer survivor, and by the advances in this technology, not as many people are dying from breast cancer and prostate cancer, that is clearly what I was saying. And there was one word missing, which was, 'not as many people'," said Collins.
Meantime, the publisher of The Batavian, Howard Owens, who also wrote the article, says he believes Collins simply misspoke and that Hochul's campaign took the quote out of context.
So is this exchange a preview of what to expect as the race goes forward?
Collins said, "We have stayed away from the negativity in my primary, we're going to talk about the issues."
"I agree that we don't want nastiness, I'm simply commenting on facts that were out there in the public domain," said Hochul.