The GOP in Rockland “Fearing Takeover” is Supporting a DA Candidate Allied with the Same “Feared” – Stirring Hate Soup…

A storm is brewing in Rockland County, N.Y., a campaign ad says.

As dramatic music pulses in the background, the Rockland County Republican Party’s video first targets what the party considers overdevelopment in the county of about 329,000 people.

Then it takes a turn. County Legislator Aron Wieder, an Orthodox Jew who supports new housing developments, is “plotting a takeover” that threatens “our way of life,” the advertisement proclaims. After the video asks what’s at stake, the words “Our Families” are overlaid on a photo of a white, non-Orthodox couple and their children posing on a front lawn.

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Development, and how much of it is too much, recently has been a flash point in Rockland County. A town board meeting in Ramapo this month featured nearly two dozen speakers complaining that 220 planned housing units favored ultra-Orthodox Jews at the expense of secular residents, the Rockland/Westchester Journal News reported.

In March, Rockland County banned unvaccinated children from public spaces amid New York’s largest measles outbreak in decades. Day said during a news conference at the time that authorities would not search for unvaccinated children, but parents who were found to be in violation could be charged with a misdemeanor. The action came at a time when health authorities were raising concerns about decreased vaccination rates and measles outbreaks in communities including ultra-Orthodox Jews. An outbreak in Rockland “has mainly affected the Orthodox Jewish community in Spring Valley and Monsey,” the lohud.com news website reported.

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Washington Post Editorial Board – People are the Problem, not the Measles – Ignorance and Negligence


Measles, mumps and rubella vaccines at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y., on March 27. (Seth Wenig/AP)

April 7 at 6:39 PM

SET ASIDE for a moment the public-health danger posed by the return of measles, and focus on people, because that is where the problem lies. Declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, measles is having outbreaks in six locations; this year already marks the second-highest case count in two decades. That’s because some people made a decision not to get vaccinated or not to vaccinate their children. It was a negligent decision, and in many cases also an inexcusably ignorant one, that endangered neighbors and strangers alike in quotidian public spaces — schools, stores and airports.

Preventing the spread of measles requires about 95 percent of a population to be properly vaccinated with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, usually starting with the first dose at 12 months through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years old. The vaccine has proved safe and highly effective. But when pools of people neglect to get immunized or fail to stay up to date, they become vulnerable. According to public-health officials, measles is one of the most contagious viruses on Earth; you can catch it just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, up to two hours later. One alert that just went out in Rockland County, N.Y., listed an Uber, two taxis and a supermarket as potential exposure sites.

The outbreak in Rockland County was first met with an executive order barring unvaccinated children from schools, then when the outbreak progressed, it was followed by a state of emergency that bars children and teenagers who are not vaccinated from public places. This measure, which has been temporarily blocked by a local judge, is drastic but arguably necessary. As of last Wednesday, there were 161 confirmed cases, and 83.2 percent of them were unvaccinated individuals. This single outbreak is larger than the total number of cases that occurred in the United States in 2017. The total U.S. case count so far this year, 387, has surpassed last year’s nationwide total of 372.

In many cases, measles outbreaks are traced to travelers from elsewhere in the world where the disease is still endemic. In 2018, three outbreaks in New York state, New York City and New Jersey happened largely in unvaccinated Orthodox Jewish communities,triggered at first by travelers who brought measles back from Israel, where a large outbreak has been underway. Orthodox Jewish leaders said there was no religious edict against vaccination but that some people in the community may have become susceptible to anti-vaccination hysteria that has cropped up elsewhere, based on unfounded fears that vaccines cause autism.

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