Putnam County has recorded more than 20,000 cases of COVID-19, which means that with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, 1 of every 5 residents has contracted the virus — yet our elected county officials disregard that we are in the midst of a Category 5 public-health hurricane.
In the Dec. 17 issue, The Current reported that County Executive MaryEllen Odell had decided not to enforce Gov. Kathy Hochul’s mask mandate, and on Dec. 31 it reported that the Legislature (except for the voice of Nancy Montgomery) had voted to oppose vaccination mandates.
A year ago, we didn’t have the tools needed to combat COVID. Today, our toolbox is full, with highly effective mRNA vaccines and N95 masks. It is frightening and embarrassing that our county executive and eight of our nine legislators are using their leadership to oppose these lifesaving measures.
We need a unified, bipartisan voice to win what should be a winnable battle against this virus. After all, the vaccines were developed in unprecedented speed under a Republican president and now we are attempting to close the deal under a Democratic president — what’s the problem?
By this blatant political grandstanding (malpractice), Odell and eight legislators have violated their duty to represent the health and well-being of their constituents. They should be replaced by Democrats or Republicans who are committed to working together to protect the health and lives of Putnam residents in the middle of a pandemic.
The recent letters to The Current on this topic overwhelmingly reflect a deep community concern about the irresponsible actions of the Putnam executive and legislators.
Alan Brownstein, Cold Spring
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