By the New York State Association of Counties
As county leaders in New York state and across America battle a newly resurgent COVID-19 pandemic, they increasingly face resistance. Today, the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) hosted a press conference with Democratic and Republican county leaders to discuss the COVID-19 public health crisis from the county perspective and the need to turn down the heated rhetoric, put partisanship aside, and work together to defeat the resurgence of the novel coronavirus.
Watch on YouTube here.
NACo President Gary Moore, representing Boone County, Kentucky, said, “The coronavirus pandemic is a public health and economic crisis. Regardless of our political affiliations, America’s counties are here to lead – to save lives and restore livelihoods.”
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “We really need to come together, regardless of our political affiliations, as Americans, to address this public health crisis. We need to come together as county officials in a bipartisan manner to say this is not a political issue. All regions are suffering.”
NYSCEA President Marcus Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, said, “There is no flattening the curve, no pandemic response, or vaccine distribution without county governments. Counties will be on the front lines of not only distributing vaccines, but also educating our residents about the safety of the vaccine and convincing them to get vaccinated. This may be the most important thing we ever do as county governments and we can’t let partisanship get in the way of this life-saving work.”
NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase said, “America’s counties prioritize effective governing over politics. We need a strong federal-state-local partnership to address this historic public health and economic crisis. We continue to advocate for a federal relief package that acknowledges counties’ vast responsibilities and delivers direct, flexible funding to counties of all sizes.”
Stephen Acquario, executive director of NYSAC said, “This is not a Democratic virus or a Republican virus; this is a deadly virus. Just as the virus doesn’t care about political party – neither have our county leaders who have been leading the fight against coronavirus in their communities, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As we move into this new phase of the fight, it will be more important than ever for New Yorkers to work together and trust each other as we work to stop this latest surge and plan for the distribution of a vaccine.”