WAMPSVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Within 90 minutes of hearing from state leaders about the return of mask-wearing requirements at all indoor places, Madison County Chairman John Becker publicly opposed the policy.
In an interview with NewsChannel 9, Chairman Becker said, “We agree with masks. We agree with the vaccine. But what we’re saying is: we can’t enforce it so we’re not going to enforce it.”
New York State is requiring county health departments to make sure businesses and venues in their jurisdictions are compliant with either requiring masks on all customers or checking for proof of vaccine at the door.
Becker says his small health department doesn’t have to staff to go business to business checking for compliance, so won’t ask them to. He’s also not willing to supplement with other departments, like Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon plans to do with his probation officers working overtime.
When asked if his stance threatens the voluntary compliance of some in his community, Becker said: ” No. I think the ones that are going to comply, comply. I think the majority of people feel that way too.”
In opposing the state’s attempt to stabilize the pandemic, Chairman Becker says there’s nothing more government can do. He said: “Ninety percent of our people in Madison County have had at least one shot. I don’t know what else we can do.”
Becker said he was begrudgingly convinced to the get the shot by friends and family and has encouraged other hold-out friends to do the same.
“They’re taking their chances,” said Becker. “Maybe when they’re in the hospital or they get this thing, they’re going to look at their families and say ‘jeeze, I really wish I did that.’