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"#GiveMeLibertyOrGiveMeCOVID," Olean official doesn't wear mask, denied entry to business

His tweet has 2.5K replies
Posted at 12:57 AM, Apr 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-25 00:57:20-04

OLEAN, N.Y. (WKBW) — Olean Alderman Kevin Dougherty (R-Ward 4), tweeted "#GiveMeLibertyOrGiveMeCOVID," after being denied entry to a convenience store because he wasn't wearing a mask.

"The masks are annoying, they're hard to breath, I can't hear anybody in a mask." Dougherty said.

On Friday, he said he apologized to the owners of both Park & Shop locations.

"The anger of my tweet affected the middle man," he said. "You know it's not their fault, they were just complying with the executive order."

Governor Andrew Cuomo's executive order mandates masks be worn in public places, when social distancing isn't possible. Dougherty said he avoids crowded aisles in grocery stores.

"If someone walks by me, and they're five and a half feet away, I will turn," he said. "I will hold my breath."

Cuomo said masks don't have to be worn at all times, but should be put on when someone is approaching you.

"You're now at an intersection, and there are people in the intersection, and you're going to be in proximity to other people," he said. "Put the mask on."

Olean City Council President Paul Gonzalez (D-Ward 3) said everybody should wear masks. He said that stores have the right to refuse service if someone is not complying with the executive order. He does not agree with his fellow Alderman's response.

"It's obviously disappointing, he's a community leader and a city councilman," Gonzalez said.

Dougherty sees his twitter page differently. He called it a place to vent, and share his civil liberty values. The tweet has 2,500 replies, Dougherty's account has 56 followers.