JAMESTOWN – For the second week in a row, residents in the Jamestown area gathered to protest New York’s PAUSE order and called on state and local leaders to reopen the area.
In addition to around 50 people who mostly called out Governor Andrew Cuomo’s order, there was one counter protester who wanted to shine a light on public health and safety.
“It is one thing to protest and get your views across, but my concern is people are jeopardizing other people’s health,” said Jamestown resident William Lucas.
Lucas, with clipboard and pen in hand, walked around the protest asking residents who were not wearing a mask and violating the State’s PAUSE order to sign a release form declining medical treatment for COVID-19.
“I’m just hear to point out some basic hypocrisies possibly,” furthered Lucas. “Maybe somebody will sign this and keep it.”
Town of Ellington resident Diana Lenska says she is protesting to support the rights of American Citizens, the constitution and the truth.
“You notice, larger businesses are being allowed to stay open, of course with certain restrictions, how many small businesses are going to be able to survive this,” said Lenska. “I do not accept the false narrative that has been forced upon the American People and people throughout the world.”
Lenska declined to sign Lucas’ the COVID-19 release form. She said she took the form, however, has been very skeptable during this pandemic.
“I would actually be afraid to go into a hospital, I wouldn’t want to,” said Lenska. “I’d rather die in the street or die at home than go to a hospital because of what is being done.”
“Hospitals can no longer treat anything accept COVID-19,” furthered Lenska.
Medical officials have said that local doctors offices remain open though the pandemic, however, they have placed extra precautions due to virus concerns.
Local spokesperson and organizer for the group Open NY, Gerrit Cain, says his group is holding another demonstration next Saturday, May 16 at noon at Dow Park.
“We would love to see some business owners here, especially some business owners that have been shutdown and impacted by this,” explained Cain. “We think getting their story and how this has impacted them and their ideas on how we can get back to work.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s PAUSE Initiative is set to expire next Friday. From there, the state is expected to use a region-by-region approach provided the regions meet several criteria issued by Cuomo’s office.
Chautauqua County P.J. Wendel said during his Friday COVID-19 update that he hopes to see Chautauqua County open “sooner rather than later,” but did acknowledge that any executive order from the Governor’s office would supersede his actions.