BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Two political rivals in Erie County are going head to head over face masks. It's the County Executive vs. the Comptroller. It began on Monday morning with a tweet from Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw claiming the Rath Building isn't safe enough to bring county workers back.
I fight for the health and safety of our hard working union employees. The Rath Building isn’t ready to safely bring workers back. No nurses checking temps. Can’t fit 4 in elevator to safely social distance. A remote workforce is right. Listen here: https://t.co/IBg5elp7h2— Stefan Mychajliw (@StefanMychajliw) June 29, 2020
Two days later, County Executive Mark Poloncarz shot back. Poloncarz says the county is going above and beyond CDC guidelines to keep the building clean and calls buildings. He calls Mychajliw for not wearing a mask and says he isn't welcome back to work unless he's wearing one.
This is pure malarkey. If he truly cared about out employees' health he would #WearAMask in the Rath Building and he hasn't repeatedly. Last week we rode up an elevator together and he was maskless. I told him if he didn't wear a mask he wouldn't be allowed in the building again. https://t.co/oikPvp4qYF— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) July 1, 2020
The County Executive also addressed the issue in Wednesday's press briefing and he brought proof. He showed a surveillance video of the pair coming to work at the Rath building from June 26.
You can see Poloncarz walk in with a mask on and wait for the elevator. Mychajliw walks in shortly after, without a mask. The two then get onto the elevator together.
"And then he comes out and is blasting us for not following proper procedures. I found it hypocritical of him..we've gotten reports that he was entering the building without a mask," said Poloncarz during the press briefing.
But Mychajliw points the finger back at Poloncarz. He sent 7 Eyewitness News this photo from June 18.
"The County Executive lives by the hypocritical mantra of 'do as I say, not as I do.' He’s closer to this guy than we were in the elevator, yet Mark Poloncarz wears no mask. He’s clearly closer than six feet away to this person, yet he refuses to put on a mask. #hypocrite #triggered," said Mychajliw.
On election day, Mychajliw did not wear a mask to the polls, so we asked him if he thinks other voters should do the same.
"That's their choice. As long as they can social distance. I would never tell anyone how to behave or what to do and if people have that choice, God bless America and that's their right," said Mychajliw in a statement sent to 7 Eyewitness News.
Poloncarz continued to say this is not about politics, but safety.
"Opinions don't matter here. Science and facts matter. This is not political. Wearing a mask protects you and others and is proven to reduce the spread of the #coronavirus," tweeted Poloncarz.