Executive Candidate Concerned With “Lack Of Transparency” During Outbreak

Richard Morrisroe the Democrat Candidate for Chautauqua County Executive. Image via Zoom

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DUNKIRK – The Democrat Candidate for Chautauqua County Executive says he is concerned with the current leaderships “lack of transparency” and timeliness in addressing the COVID-19 outbreak at Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk.

Richard Morrisroe, in an interview with WNYNewsNow Tuesday morning, questioned his opponent, Executive PJ Wendel’s ability to keep the public informed about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Morrisroe says the public deserves to know what happened at the Fieldbrook Farms plant within days, not weeks.

“There is no such thing as going overboard in communicating with the public about preventable threats to their health.” Morrisroe said. “The time to prepare for a crisis is before it happens. The unelected County Executive had more than five months to plan for a county COVID cluster and his lack of transparency and leadership is very troubling.”

The COVID-19 cluster comes weeks ahead of the new school year where thousands of children will be back in classrooms for the first time since March.

The candidate is also calling for free rapid testing for every public-school employee and student ahead of the new school year.

“I call on PJ Wendel to provide free, rapid testing for every public-school student and employee before school starts. We cannot afford to play fast and loose with this virus,” he said.

Morrisroe outlined steps he would have taken to address the public health crisis as County Executive:

  • Dispatch a SWAT team of public health inspectors for onsite inspection at Fieldbrook within 24 hours of confirmed cases at the plant and prepare to suspend operations if the doors weren’t open for inspection and employees were not provided with resources relating to the virus, including Spanish speakers and translation services.
  • Hold a public information session announcing county wide testing within 48 hours and sharing information vital to the public who may have encountered the infected individual.
  • Coordinate with regional county executives and state officials on best practices for testing and contract tracing, PPE supplies.
  • Redirect county personnel to the County Department of Health in coordination with union representatives and hire temporary contract tracers and frontline personnel if there are still not enough resources to stop the spread of the virus.
  • Ensure that every frontline worker, even temporary workers, have health insurance, rapid testing, and worker protections.
  • Provide every public school employee and student with free rapid testing.


1 Comment

  1. Is this Democrat Candidate for Chautauqua County Executive, concerned with Cuomo’s Nursing Home Policies?

    Trump closed the European Border with his proclamation effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020.

    Cuomo’s Nursing Home Policies to send infected patients back to Nursing Homes went in effect March 25,2020 (almost two weeks after)

    Meanwhile the ship “Comfort” in NYC sat empty, the Javits center was remodeled to treat 2500 patients(treated less than 200) , AND there were temporary hospitals built in Central Park= all barely used.

    There was NO reason to send sick elderly patients back to nursing homes who weren’t prepared to handle this situation when there were hospitals built just for this reason…….to treat the ChinaVirus

    No one whom needed a ventilator died from not having one…..

    Cuomo said “We need 40,000 ventilators, & god will not save you” Truth= we needed less than 4,000, and god saves all !!!!

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