BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) “Everyone makes mistakes. I made a mistake,” said Mark Poloncarz, referring to the group photo he posed in without wearing mask on Saturday.
The Erie County Executive explained that his South Park Golf Club had just won an annual tournament and he was asked to join in a group photo. “It just goes to show you can make a mistake. I did not have a mask on me at that moment. I had multiple masks in my car and one in my golf bag which was in my car.”
It caught the attention of Erie County Comptroller, Stefan Mychajliw. “What bothers me is the hypocrisy of the position. Mark Poloncarz had threatened to have me removed from the Rath Building with security if I were not wearing a mask. He’s shutting down businesses for individuals not wearing a mask, so it’s one of those issues of ‘do as I say not as I do.”
“We do not shut down private events that are less than 50 people even if they’re not wearing a mask we’ve never done that,” said Poloncarz. “It was not in a businesses location, it was basically friends having a pop and a beer in the park.”
He also got a Covid test Sunday. “I also wanted to the public that I took it seriously, so I had a Covid test and I’ll be monitoring myself and if by chance I have any symptoms in the next two weeks, I’ll get another test.”
Poloncarz says the photo took less than 20 seconds and wouldn’t meet the contact tracing requirement of being in the presence of someone with Covid for at least 10 minutes. But Mychajliw challenges that defense. “If that’s the case, then it’s mind-boggling that the Corona virus will not spread to individuals not wearing a mask in nine minutes and 59 seconds or less. It’s a very bad example set by someone who’s ordering us to wear masks .”