MAYVILLE – As New York State reinstates mask mandates, some fear the divide amongst residents will become more apparent as we approach the busy holiday season.
County Executive PJ Wendel is encouraging people not to distinguish others based on their vaccination status.
“We’re now basing our judgment of individuals based on whether or not you’re vaccinated,” says Wendel. “You know I’ve had people say, ‘you need to reach out to your caucus and get the Republicans to get vaccinated.’ Since when has this been a political battle? Other than those who make it.”
Throughout the pandemic Wendel tells us he has always stuck to science, something he wishes anti-vaxers would consider.
“That shot, when it goes in your arm, doesn’t know if you’re black, white, Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian. Doesn’t matter if you’re Republican, conservative, Democrat, Muslim, Catholic, Jewish. It doesn’t matter,” continued Wendel. “That vaccine works for people. And we need to get away from the stereotypes of certain individuals that are vaccinated and certain that aren’t.”
He furthers that the only true way to end this pandemic is to come together, which is one of the reasons Wendel says the county will not enforce the mask mandate.
Though the Executive is vaccinated and believes that wearing a mask helps to slow the spread of COVID-19, he does not believe the mandate is the best strategy as it causes small businesses to become enforcers and leads people to become confrontational.
The executive says if the state wants the mandate enforced, they will have to do the policing on their own.