To the Editor:
[This is the letter by Paul Feiner to which Rob Astorino is responding — Ed.]
I appreciate Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner’s well wishes for my recovery from Covid. I had mild cold-like symptoms and feel as though I’m now fully recovered.
In Mr. Feiner’s public letter to the River Journal on January 2, he adds that I should re-think my “irresponsible” opposition to universal mask and vaccine mandates. I believe it is Mr. Feiner who should re-think his “outdated” position.
Let’s begin with masks. In a leaked email from February of 2020, Dr. Fauci writes, “The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus.” On December 21, CNN’s Chief Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen stated, “Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations.” And just yesterday, former head of the FDA, Scott Gottlieb said, “cloth masks don’t provide much protection against Covid.”
And in regards to the vaccine mandates, I’ve long believed in personal medical freedom even as I’ve encouraged people, especially those in high risk categories (older, immunocompromised) to talk to their doctors and consider getting vaccinated.
I am vaccinated. 95 percent of adults in New York have at least one shot. I do believe the vaccines help reduce the severity of illness in the individual.
What is now clear, as many studies around the world and real-world data have concluded, is that the vaccines do not prevent infection or transmission as was promised. Far from it. We have more cases today than we did a year ago when we didn’t have the vaccines.
So does it make any sense to fire 34,000 health care workers over this mandate – when we’re facing a hospital staffing crisis – when likely most of these workers have natural immunity? It doesn’t.
We need to advance forward in the battle against Covid. We have the vaccines and effective therapeutics and new understanding of the virus. Holding on to outdated and divisive thinking on mandates as Mr. Feiner is doing is unhelpful. We need to follow the science.