Westchester County Executive Astorino faces criticism, praise for Ebola radio interviewPosted: Updated:
After an Ebola scare in Westchester, the county executive is defending his decision to inform the public about a patient who health officials later confirmed wasn't infected.
"I know there's some political hack doctor who came out and said it was irresponsible, but it would have been irresponsible to not answer questions that were leaking out about a potential Ebola case," said County Executive Rob Astorino (R-Westchester).
During a radio interview Tuesday, Astorino said a man went to a local hospital with a high fever and told doctors he had contact with someone who had recently traveled to Liberia.
Astorino tried to allay public concerns at a news conference with health officials Wednesday, and health officials said the patient doesn't have the disease or pose a risk to the public.
Some people have suggested that Astorino's radio interview might have been political. "Considering there's an election in a couple of weeks, it doesn't surprise me that he wants to be on the right side of the issue," said Sleepy Hollow resident Scott Wald.
But Astorino has said this is about public safety, not politics. "We had a patient who died of Ebola in Dallas," he said.
Some residents support Astorino's stance and actions. "We should know about this," said Anthony Annicchiarico. "They shouldn't hide that from us. We should be able to protect ourselves."