New City, NY (Dec. 20, 2018) – Rockland County Legislator Aron Wieder says the County Executive has used the measles outbreak as a political tool against the Orthodox Jewish community and that he must stop immediately.

In an open letter to County Executive Ed Day, Legislator Wieder said private schools were already complying with the county Health Department’s request for student immunization records when the cooperation stopped and the threat of steep fines began – all so that the County Executive could make it seem that is was him alone that brought about the compliance.

Legislator Wieder wrote, “The TRUTH is that these nine private schools, some of them with small staffs and shoestring budgets, were already 90 percent in compliance before any threat of fines arose. They had provided the vast majority of student health records and simply needed an additional week to fully complete the information, and they informed the Health Department as such.”

He continued, “Despite this compliance, you, Mr. Day, have tried to make it seem that it is only because of you and the imposition of fines that nine private schools submitted any student health records and without your intervention, would not have complied at all. Once again, your message couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Legislator Wieder, in his letter, urges County Executive Day to tone down the rhetoric as he has already shown he can do.

“After your reelection last year, you significantly toned down the terrible rhetoric against the Orthodox Jewish community that so many in Rockland County find offensive,” Legislator Wieder wrote. “It was a wonderful thing for myself and the good people of Rockland County to see. We hoped a bridge to better relations had been built.”

One thought on “Legislator Wieder: County Executive Ed Day Politicizes Measles Outbreak”

  1. Legislator Wieder’s statements are grossly inaccurate. The fact of the matter is that the Rockland County Department of Health (RCDOH) made these decisions without the involvement of my office. They followed their own established procedures to fine the schools that were not in compliance with the Health Commissioner’s orders to keep un- or under-vaccinated students home from school and provide vaccination and attendance records to the RCDOH during the measles outbreak. In short, the rules were applied equally to ALL schools, religious or otherwise.

    Legislator Wieder has had every opportunity during the first 11 weeks of this outbreak to help by advocating that residents in his district get vaccinated against measles. Instead, he has done nothing, not once issuing a public statement or even sharing information on his social media. He is now launching inaccurate criticisms on a subject about which he has no knowledge. He has not once reached out for more information or to offer his help. As the chairman of the Public Safety committee he NEVER even brought the matter to the floor of the Legislature. Amazingly, he even left the Legislative chambers before the Commissioner of Health’s recent update to the Legislature on the measles outbreak!

    To be clear … the process followed by the Health Department was EXACTLY as followed for all matters coming before them in the past. Mr. Wieder’s comments are borne from ignorance, not knowledge. He apparently still has difficulty dealing with my credo of equal treatment for all; special preference for none.

    During a public health crisis, we expect everyone to comply with the Commissioner’s orders. These orders follow State Law and are designed to protect public health for the entire community. I am very proud of our Health Department and the work they have done. I also want to thank those from the New York State Department of Health who are here helping, the community agencies and private doctors who have assisted in vaccinating over 11,100 people and the numerous Rabbis and elected leaders our Dept. of Health has met with during this outbreak.

    I personally spoke with the elected leaders in these affected communities early on to ensure understanding and focus on minimizing exposures and maximizing immunizations. Our Health Department spoke with dozens of religious leaders. Legislator Wieder was nowhere to be found. That is the type of “representative” the people are supporting with their hard earned tax dollars. Sad.

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