To mask or not to mask – the choice should be yours

Send signed letters to [email protected]

Last year, our country faced the worst public health crisis in decades. We watched, we listened, we obeyed, we socially distanced, we gave up our liberties, and we wore masks for the greater good. We shut down. “Stay home for 14 days to slow the spread,” they said. Then, “get the vaccine and you can ditch the masks,” they said. After over 160 million Americans and 100% of the vulnerable population aged 65+ in Connecticut, took the vaccine, yet we’re right back to square one of Authoritarian control.

I am shocked that Harry Rilling is acting as every other Democrat mayor to re-institute mask mandates. As your mayor, I would not enforce any mask mandates on you. This decision lacks any real scientific evidence that a mask prevents the spread of this virus. Even the box in which widely used disposable masks come has a warning that states, “This product is not a respirator and will not provide any protection against COVID-19 or other viruses.” N95 respirators, named for their ability to filter 95% or more of tiny particles, are the mainstay of protection against airborne pathogens. Anything less than a one-time use properly fitted N95 mask provides little to no protection as virus particles can penetrate surgical and cloth masks (widely used to comply) easily.

Why, during this entire pandemic, did no doctor, politician, or news outlet promote the benefits of increasing our Vitamin D intake, exercising, eating a healthy diet, and getting fresh air to strengthen our immune systems? I remember when they said, “Stay home for two weeks to slow the spread.” How quickly two weeks turned into a full year of lockdowns! What’s next? More mandates and lockdowns? Vaccine Passports? Shutting down Norwalk City Hall for another year? Shutting down schools again?

The vaccine was never meant to eliminate the virus completely, which is impossible to do for viral influenza and coronaviruses. Viruses mutate and create new variants over time, especially when they have animal reservoirs (hosts) – this is why there is an annual flu shot, which I suspect there will now be an annual Covid shot. The vaccine was introduced to reduce symptoms, limit the severity of the virus, if infected, and prevent death. Additionally, those who are unvaccinated and have been previously infected with the virus have a natural immunity that is equal to that of the vaccine, according to the Cleveland Clinic Covid-19 Study. We need to realize that Covid is here to stay, similar to the flu virus.

This mandate is the first shot fired across the bow of freedom by Harry and other Democrat mayors to reinstitute government mandates and shutdowns to “Slow the Spread.” It will undoubtedly lead to additional restrictions, limitations, and rollbacks of our civil rights that we can never allow again. For children, I stand for a parent’s freedom of choice. I believe the parent, rather than the government, should ultimately make the decision whether or not their child wears a mask. The government has no business mandating that.

Norwalk is currently around 70% vaccinated (100% of residents 65+), a number close to the hurdle for herd immunity per Dr. Fauci. According to the Mayor’s update on Aug. 6, we have had ZERO deaths since July 15, only 89 new cases since July 29 (no hospitalizations), and a -1 decrease in hospitalizations for all of Fairfield County of which there are currently 40 hospitalizations countywide. Our case rate in Norwalk is 10.1 per 100,000, with no rise in hospitalizations.

As your mayor, I will not mandate anything that would restrict the rights of individual choice and freedom. Covid-19 should no longer disrupt our businesses, way of life, or our freedoms. The collateral damage of the shutdowns, school closures, and mandates have destroyed our lives enough. If it was about your health, those in power would have promoted strengthening your immune system rather than restricting your civil rights to freedom of choice.

Jonathan Riddle

Republican candidate for Norwalk Mayor


61 responses to “To mask or not to mask – the choice should be yours”

  1. Jason Milligan

    How will the Rilling Mask rules be enforced?

    Who is punished for non-compliance?

    Store owner for not enforcing or customer for not wearing?

    What is the exact punishment?

    Arrest? What is the charge?

    Fine? By who?


    Was the council consulted before the mask mandate was enacted?

  2. Ct. V

    Wow. Someone running for mayor who falsely says masks provide “little to no protection”. I’m happy his financial job makes him an expert in public health.

    I’ve said this before. The Norwalk Dems need competition!!! Harry Rilling is not a great mayor! But is sharing anti-mask letters the best way to beat him? Ugh…

  3. Skip Hagerty

    Jonathan, great letter! But, I am afraid you make too much sense to be the mayor of Norwalk. However, I sincerely hope you can pull it off. Good luck.

  4. Priscilla Feral

    Jonathan Riddle’s letter fails to comprehend a basic truth: the covid vaccine strengthens one’s immune system. His idea about civil rights is misplaced in a rant about whether officials should help guide us through a life-threatening pandemic by both encouraging vaccines and mask-wearing in indoor public venues.

    One can see the damage of denial and politically-charged terrible ideas by taking a look at Florida and Texas’s soaring number of covid infections.

  5. Becky

    Wanted very much to vote for you but as a mom with two unvaccinated children, I simply can not. Numbers are increasing and what we are seeing in other states could easily become a reality with unmasking. You do not know who is vaccinated and who is not. The reality of breathrough cases is more and more. Companies that started to hybrid or head back into the office are now back to fully remote.Unmasking would only increase numbers and cause another potential lock down. Not to mention the long term affects of covid and the unknowns for those that have had it. That is no conspiracy but fact. Here’s what I know…prior to covid 19, my kids had permanent runny noses from October to January. Once covid 19 hit and they were wearing masks and practicing social distancing, they were the healthiest they have been. Ask any parent! Masks do not just protect the individual but others around them. If you become mayor would you unmask kids in our elementary schools who are unvaccinated? Would your administration? Republicans in Norwalk need to start giving voters choices so that we can have a balance in power on the council. This should not even be a platform issue. You have so many issues in Norwalk that need to be addressed. Your method sounds like a great way to keep kids out of school and end up with remote learning. NO THANK YOU A scary thought. I wanted to vote for you for so many reasons. Concerns with overdevelopment and other Norwalk concerns that I hoped you would address. Sadly, this sealed the deal and you have lost my vote and it is not even September 1. A vast majority would rather wear a mask and do their part to keep numbers and risks down in our community and save lives than play politics with the health and safety of others.

  6. Mike

    Shouldn’t put much stock in a carpetbagger who’s lived in our city (and state) for barely a handful of years.

  7. Ellie Becker

    Democracy and civil rights are not about unlimited freedom of choice. When it comes to public health, we have obligations to our communities to do our parts to protect ourselves and others. There are plenty of examples of governments creating public health rules – from seatbelt mandates to needing measles and chicken pox vaccines to attend public schools. Unfortunately, the unprecedented Covid pandemic and the scientific learning-as-we-go that’s made the response difficult to chart has been politicized. I’m happy to mask indoors to help stem any possible spread of the delta variant – even though I’m fully vaccinated. Mandating actions that can protect me and my neighbors in a health crisis takes leadership and courage. I prefer politics that moves us closer together as a community rather than dividing us and driving us apart.

  8. David Waters

    I completely agree. It is a complete invasion of my personal liberties that I am FORCED to wear clothes – I should have the absolute right to parade my flabby 65 year old body and jiggly bits in public and no one should be allowed to object. After all, we all know that our skin is much healthier if we don’t wear nasty clothing. What’s next – will we be required to wear SEAT BELTS??? We are truly going down the path to a dictatorial state.

    Sometimes, a little common sense is required. And this isn’t a political thing, it is a science thing.

  9. Jason Milligan

    Found many of the answers: https://www.norwalkct.org/DocumentCenter/View/24177/MayorsExecOrder_MaskMandate_08102021

    The mayor is utilizing very vague, broad powers designed to handle actual emergencies.

    EMERGENCY: An urgent, sudden, and serious event that necessitates immediate action to remedy harm or avert imminent danger to life, health, or property.

    A legitimate emergency is a prerequisite for a mayor making this type of executive order (overreach). The current situation while potentially very serious, is hardly an “emergency”.

    The mask mandate was an executive order. Council was not involved. Why not?

    Fines go to businesses for employee non compliance.

    Police department issues fines.

  10. ConcernedToo

    “ This decision lacks any real scientific evidence that a mask prevents the spread of this virus.”

    So every time there’s a pandemic, we need to wait for someone to do a peer reviewed study to determine the effectiveness of a preventative measure before doing anything?

    There’s plenty of circumstantial evidence, and mask wearing isn’t that big a deal (Republicans are all about toughness but can’t handle wearing a mask apparently).

    And of course, your article avoided the elephant in the room – that mask wearing is really about protecting those around you.

    Disappointing. We need better from those pretending to lead.

  11. Norwalk Expat

    Seriously, Norwalk GOP? This is all you got? This type of fear-mongering might work in low-information communities where Trump’s Big Lie is alive, but Norwalk… I’d like to be the first to congratulate Mr. Riddle’s opponent on his easy victory in the upcoming mayoral election.

  12. Jason Milligan

    Why not have an “emergency” common council meeting to discuss the mask ideas? Strong recommendations are enough to get get compliance when backed up with data and discussion. Perhaps a mandate was not really required. Our 15 elected leaders are capable of discussing, debating and deciding.

    Nobody elected a dictator!

  13. Paul Cantor

    That anyone including and especially someone running for mayor of our city would ignore evidence such as the following and thereby advocate taking actions that endanger everyone including themselves is appalling.

    “The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected respiratory particles in both laboratory and clinical contexts. Public mask wearing is most effective at reducing spread of the virus when compliance is high. Given the current shortages of medical masks, we recommend the adoption of public cloth mask wearing, as an effective form of source control, in conjunction with existing hygiene, distancing, and contact tracing strategies. Because many respiratory particles become smaller due to evaporation, we recommend increasing focus on a previously overlooked aspect of mask usage: mask wearing by infectious people (“source control”) with benefits at the population level, rather than only mask wearing by susceptible people, such as health care workers, with focus on individual outcomes. We recommend that public officials and governments strongly encourage the use of widespread face masks in public, including the use of appropriate regulation.”

    An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19
    View ORCID ProfileJeremy Howard, Austin Huang, View ORCID ProfileZhiyuan Li, View ORCID ProfileZeynep Tufekci, Vladimir Zdimal, View ORCID ProfileHelene-Mari van der Westhuizen, View ORCID ProfileArne von Delft, View ORCID ProfileAmy Price, Lex Fridman, View ORCID ProfileLei-Han Tang, View ORCID ProfileViola Tang, View ORCID ProfileGregory L. Watson, View ORCID ProfileChristina E. Bax, View ORCID ProfileReshama Shaikh, View ORCID ProfileFrederik Questier, Danny Hernandez, View ORCID ProfileLarry F. Chu, View ORCID ProfileChristina M. Ramirez, and View ORCID ProfileAnne W. Rimoin
    See all authors and affiliations

    ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended this week that people vaccinated against COVID-19 resume wearing masks in public indoor spaces in areas of the United States where the virus is spreading. “Appropriate masking in addition to vaccination remain the best methods to help protect individuals from the Coronavirus,” says Gregory Poland, M.D., an infectious disease expert at Mayo Clinic.

    In fact, published data from Mayo Clinic researchers have found that appropriate masking and physical separation reduces the exposure of individuals to respiratory droplets that spread the virus and a physical separation of 6 feet reduces particle counts to near baseline levels. The findings, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, strongly support the protective value and effectiveness of widespread mask use, maintaining physical distance and vaccination in helping to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

  14. Kathryn Breault

    Masks do help in preventing the spread of Covid. Your views are not helpful and will only lead to more disease. Retrumpicans will love you.

  15. RAS

    No thanks we don’t need Desantis style freedom fighters doing nothing ignoring the virus while hospitals fill up.

  16. Ursula Caterbone

    As Mayor can we also expect you to propose banning all speed limits in Norwalk? You could probably come up with logic to support driving as fast or as slow as we choose. How about proposing our right to drive drunk in Norwalk if we choose to?

    If wearing a mask isn’t effective why does the surgeon and every other person in an operating room wear one?
    Surely you must have heard by now that the Delta Variant is more contagious than the original virus. One of the reasons it hasn’t taken serious hold in Norwalk yet might just be because so many of us have continued to wear our masks indoors. Taking steps to try to control this variant now is the right thing to do.
    Thanks for making your attitude toward the public good perfectly clear. I can only hope that the voters will become aware of your wild west philosophy before they vote.

  17. piberman

    Suggest you visit the local hospital ICU treating Covid patients and ask the personnel there about the efficacy of wearing face masks. A common view is that Covid is the worst way to die.

  18. Peter Franz

    There are numerous studies showing the effectiveness of masks.

    To suggest otherwise is foolish. See Florida and Texas for details.

    Why in the world would we want an anti-science-populist inexperienced financier for mayor? We’ve seen that movie and know how it turns out.

    Besides anyone who thinks the US is currently in the health situation it’s in because the population has “obeyed” the government’s calls for caution, mask wearing and social distancing, is so removed from reality it’s a bit frightening.

    “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.”

  19. Sarah McIntee

    I’m not sure this is a topic that gives me confidence in electing you for mayor….yikes.

  20. Justin Matley

    I look forward to writing my common sense rebuttal to this in the coming days.

  21. Donny O’Day

    Mr. Riddle has already shown us he cannot be trusted to lead the community. No serious aspiring public official at this stage should write:

    “This decision lacks any real scientific evidence that a mask prevents the spread of this virus. Even the box in which widely used disposable masks come has a warning that states, ‘This product is not a respirator and will not provide any protection against COVID-19 or other viruses.’”

    We know masks prevent the spread of the virus. This is fact. Some masks are better than others, sure. And if you want to argue about risk tolerance and freedom, fine (though this whole piece falls short). But don’t insult our intelligence by quoting the disclaimer on a disposable mask box.

  22. Barry Kasdan

    You accurately presented the exemplary progress Norwalk made fighting the COVID virus. That was done under Mayor Rilling’s leadership. We now face a new virus that is more aggressive and dangerous than COVID-19 .
    Winning this new battle is not a issue of protecting your constitutional rights. It’s about saving lives, and current data shows that young children are more at danger than other demographic groups. !!

    You fail to address this issue !!

  23. Sid Welker

    If your political party is driving your decision to wear a mask or not in order to protect yourself, a family member or your neighbor then that’s absolutely pathetic. As Americans we have a long and proud history of stepping up when our country needs us. From buying bonds during the war to dare I say getting vaccinated when polio and small pox was plaguing our great nation. We now live in the age of the internet and rabbit hole researchers who get their P.H.D’s from Yahoo University. When you get a cold or God forbid cancer, what do you do? You go to the doctors and you listen to what they tell you because they are the professionals. So why are we being so defiant now? This virus is new to everyone and not all the information given is going to be 100% correct unfortunately. To read and hear over and over again that wearing a mask is that bothersome to you for the 30 minutes a day you may have to wear it is down right lazy and sad. Our ancestors lived through 2 world wars, a depression, Scarlet fever, Spanish Flu and the aforementioned small pox and polio. Do you think they complained about wearing a mask while their family members and friends were dying on a daily basis? You should be doing whats right and not fall into this “I have my freedom” bull or “the government cant tell me what to do” or “Trump this and Biden that”. The sooner you mask up,get vaccinated, listen to the experts and put your political party aside, we can all try to get back to our normal lives.

  24. Jason Milligan

    The mask mandate might be the best rule ever, but is nobody bothered by the mayor bypassing the 15 elected council meme era that are charged with making leadership decisions.

    The council would have almost definitely implemented the same or similar measure but there would have been dialogue, debate and public input.

    A true emergency is one thing. But an actual emergency cannot last a year and a half…

    What is especially troubling is the mayor is making similar unilateral decisions in million dollar lawsuits.

    If Norwalk wants a dictator then abolish the council and elect one. Until then let’s use the system that has served this city well over the years.

  25. Kenneth Werner

    Jonathan, espousing policies that will bring death and disease to voters is not a good way to get elected.

  26. marye

    You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

    Is the idea of wearing a mask when grocery shopping so crushing to your sense of self, that it outweighs reducing the risk that a child or vulnerable person could become seriously ill ?

    Circumstances change and we adapt… sun comes out , I put on sunglasses, cloudy I take them off. With the spread of the Delta variant, why not use every tool in the kit to make sure it’s contained and our kids can go back to in person learning?

    I am much more interested in hearing from mayoral candidates who can solve the problem of why it took me 45 minutes to get from East Norwalk to Westport Ave this morning.

  27. CT-Patriot

    I’d like to see one, just one factual study by an accredited institution that masks work preventing SARS-2 Covid-19.

    Delta varriant is more transmissible, not more “deadly” and if children somehow become a carrier, they may feel like they have a bad cold or mild flu.

    If you feel a mask makes you feel safe, fine, you do you. I’m not anti-mask, just tired of the fear mongering.

    If the media, Doctors and CDC would discuss more on therapeutic drugs we could manage this like adults.

    Just as there is Tamaflu for flu-like conditions, there needs to be more discussion on treatment.

    Again, you do you on mask(ing) but if my kids were to be forced wearing them, I’d pull them from School then find one who allows parents to make the choice, not a government official.

    It’s time we discuss treatment. We are aware of “protection”.

  28. James Cahn

    I’d like, again, to take this opportunity to mention that you really need to update your comments section capability, Nance. When the comments section is THIS good, I want to be able to post the GIF of Michael Jackson gleefully nibbling popcorn.

    via GIPHY

    See? Doesn’t work.

  29. CT-Patriot

    Oh, and here’s the facts about REAL DATA from Florida and Texas as to Covid deaths per 100,000.

    Look which states LEAD in Covid deaths. ALL DEMOCRAT RUN STATES.


  30. Bryan Meek

    Common sense has escaped many a Norwalker. Do jeans, much thicker than these cloth and paper masks, prevent unwanted odors from escaping? 18 months later and the city has no plan to use covid relief for the n95 masks that actually work. This current mask mandate does nothing but give a small sense of relief when you are just at risk…or maybe not….Rilling and Duff had no issue going maskless in their photo op at the mall yesterday. What do they know that we don’t?

  31. Michael McGuire

    Interesting feedback from 20 out of 22 (comments at the time I wrote this). The fear is palatable. But I think many of you have missed the point of Mr. Riddle’s comments. I did not read anywhere that he is against masking. Quite the contrary I think Mr. Riddle is, like many of us, simply asking the question of why are we only taking half measures by looking at masking and vaccines. I think Mr. Riddles point is – can’t we use some common sense and look at all the solutions which include masks and vaccines.

    Case in point is Mr. Riddle’s comments about enhancing the immune system via healthier living with exercise, good foods, lose weight etc. That has been documented as one of the most effect deterrents. Who can argue with that?

    Similarly, why is there never any productive or positive discussion of therapeutics like Ivermectin, or Hydroxychloroquine, and others? Are people still being banned from Twitter, Facebook, etc. for simply asking this simple question or talking about therapeutics? Which begs the question, why ban free speech during the past year? Clearly, 330 Million ideas (population of the US) are better than only those approved and limited to our elected leaders. It’s like shutting down the collective wisdom of mankind.

    I think what Mr. Riddle was hitting on, possibly unwittingly, is the loss of faith Americans have with government at all levels.

    Consider that last year roughly 40 percent of Americans thought President Trump was the manifestation of the devil himself. This year roughly 40 percent of Americans think President Biden and the woke committee are out to destroy American values. And to round it out 20 percent just don’t really care one way or the other.

    What this tells us is that 80 percent of us don’t trust government, local included. That is the deeper problem that shows up in the rapid response to Mr. Riddle’s letter, and the letter itself.

    I believe 80 plus percent of American’s, including Mr. Riddle, would agree that masks do make a positive difference. But clearly 40 percent see that to focus solely on masks (and vaccines) alone while curtailing/shutting down open and meaningful debate/discussion on the best ways to handle the Covid 19 issue is shortsighted at best, and downright abusive at worst.

    I would vote for Mr. Riddle simply to break this Democratic echo chamber of Norwalk government that so many of us have lost faith in. At least Mr. Riddle is thinking outside the box.

  32. George

    I’m with you John. Wearing a mask should be people’s choice not governments. Nearby towns are not forcing masks on people.

    Last night I watched flight tracker as a friend heard a plane land at 01:57am at HPN. It came in on runway 16 as to not fly over Greenwich. HPN shuts down during the overnight hours.

    That plane N899B a Cessna 500 flew in from Molina, TX. Buses were seen shortly after leaving HPN heading to CT.

    Anyone want to take a guess as to why a plane would fly in during the overnight?

    Gee, I wonder where the virus uptick is coming from and some people want to point fingers at Texas.

    Close the border and watch the numbers drop. Twenty six percent of illegals crossing the open border are infected with China virus.

  33. Al

    Did RTC not learn from running an anti vaxxer? There is a long list of reasons to not vote for Harry but this is what you come out of the gate with? This probably just became the one position voters are going to associate Jonathan with.

  34. Phil M

    Wrong. “We live in a society.” Society necessarily involves duties and limitations. “No shoes, no shirt, no service” has never been a problem, but masks are? I had to get an MMR to take classes at Connecticut universities – why? Because it’s good policy. Masks and vaccines should not be a choice – both are effective and public health necessities. Had we not had a trust-fund baby anti-knowledge *president who just hoped the problem would “magically” (his word) go away in the early days, maybe we wouldn’t have 600,000 dead Americans. Stop pandering nonsense to the libertarian wannabes you think are your base, if you’re not trying to actively kill them off.

  35. Mike Mushak

    Unbelievable. And this guy pushing this dangerous nonsense got the full endorsement from the Norwalk Republican Town Committee, the so-called “pro-life” party. Did you get that?

    Meanwhile, I’m with Harry Rilling, who is a sincere, caring, and competent leader who bases his public health decisions on science and facts, not petty and dangerous Fox News-style lies that literally risks millions of lives just to sell ad time and political power. Most Norwalkers on both sides of the aisle are too smart to buy that kind of stupidity, that seems to sell very well in places like Florida and Texas where hospitals are full and turning away dying patients. No thanks.

    Harry Rilling has protected all of Norwalk’s residents over the challenging and unprecedented last 18 months and has saved countless lives in the process, and we are confident he will continue to protect us. He has our votes and full support, as this year’s elections literally are a matter of life or death for all of us. We choose life!

  36. Barry Kasdan

    An Arkansas father of a 1-year-old hospitalized with Covid-19 is telling people to get vaccinated so another parent doesn’t have to face the uncertainty and fear that he’s living with.

  37. Nancy McGuire

    Mike Mushak – from what age do you choose life? Do you stand against capital punishment as welll? For whom do you choose life? Please clarify for those of us who truly choose life. And stop blaming Fox News for everything you disagree with. They are on your side now.

  38. C

    The amount of misinformation in this article continues to stun me. I keep coming back to just find more. Today’s nugget – the author confidently states that it is impossible to eliminate covid completely because it evolves. A simple google search finds three articles in the past two months finds several articles showing that there are a number of scientists trying to do just that by developing a universal covid vaccine.

    Who would you rather listen to, the science community that miraculously created a vaccine in a year, or this guy, who seems pretty confident (which gets votes) but has no idea what he’s talking about?

  39. Elsa Peterson Obuchowski

    Wearing a mask protects others more than it protects you. You may not think you’re carrying the Covid virus, but since some 40% of cases are asymptomatic, you could be carrying it and never know it. Wouldn’t you rather be considerate of your fellow residents and reduce the risk of making them sick?

  40. Larry

    Hey George- Are you sure that it was a Cessna 500 that landed at HPN in the middle of the night- just as you described? If so, a Cessna 500 (aka a Citation, I believe) is a 5 passenger business jet. Assuming you’re correct in your reporting/accounting, why would it takes “buses” to transport its passengers to CT? (Even the largest jet in the 500 series – a 560 or Citation V – only carries 8 passengers)…Could it be that these implied transporters of undocumented immigrants strapped dozens of them to the wings and the top of the fuselage to ensure they could fill the “buses headed to CT” you mention??? Or maybe it was actually an entire air wing of Cessna 500s that came in?

    Just sayin’…

  41. David

    I would like to THANK the author for removing one decision point from my thought process – The vote for Mayor in the upcoming election. This mindless drivel of an incoherent thought process disqualifies you as a viable candidate in my opinion, and any R who doesn’t come out and speak vehemently against your stance on this.

    Pity, you might have had some otherwise good ideas that could have made this an interesting race. Thank you for stating your position on the most important issue facing our city, up front. There’s too much to think about these days, anyway!

  42. Patrick McMahon

    The positivity rate is hovering around 3%, a majority of the population is vaccinated, in no way to we face the situation going on in other parts of the country. Masking should be a personal choice at this point, and it certainly should not be up to a Mayor who is overreaching. We are doing this to protect people who don’t have the common sense to get the vaccine, and you think they are going to wear masks? Newsflash libs, they aren’t.

    Maybe the Mayor should spend more time on community outreach and education. Show the population of people who won’t get vaccinated that it works and that it’s safe. All of you libs who want to care for and support every last person in the city despite them sitting home collecting unemployment while job openings remain unfilled should go into vulnerable communities and actually help.

    Masking is a choice, same as the vaccine. This is America.

  43. Caley O’Bryan

    I’m an independent who is no fan of Rilling’s.

    But congratulations, you just guaranteed I’m not voting for a Republican. As long as the Republican party is an anti-science death-cult I’ll have to vote Democrat begrudgingly.

  44. Steve Mann

    @Mike, the term “carpetbagger” in this instance is not only offensive, but wildly inaccurate as per it’s definition. But you’re on a roll so who cares, right?

    For the record, “our city” is run by a mayor who received less than 10% donations from city residents, and policies that greatly affect the residents of “our city” are largely made by individuals who don’t live here.

  45. Bryan Meek

    Was Mushak also maskless inside the mall like the Mayor?

  46. There was nothing even remotely close to a “year of lockdowns”. Wild hyperbole and fear mongering for political purposes.

  47. Justin Matley

    Michael McGuire:
    You’re making several assumptions from things the author never actually said in the way you imply. He had the opportunity to frame his argument, and he didn’t do it the way you hoped.
    Also, the two treatments you mention: one has been disproven wholly and is now not recommended by legitimate medical professionals. The other still has no completed, peer-reviewed studies done on it.

    The figures you post are of the ENTIRE pandemic, including of course Spring 2020, when the virus his throat Northeast first with zero treatment available. If you look at death rate TRENDS, it’s nearly inverse.

  48. CT-Patriot

    You can mask all you want…you do you..

    I’ll still take Regeneron, Remdesivir, Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, Vitamin D, Zinc and C.

    If the vaccines do not prevent me from Covid-19 and it doesn’t protect someone near me from catching it from me I ask you this…

    What is a booster supposed to boost?

    Still, I thank the Trump Administration for Warp Speed getting these vaccines out.

    Now, with the variants coming out….where the Biden Administration on getting a vaccine out in record time? There is NO discussion from the administration. Gee, wonder why?

    Maybe first, he has to still find the door to the White House?

  49. George

    Larry. There were actually 5 or 6 aircraft that landed during the overnight hours. N899B was the only one that had its transponder on and flight information listed. That information stated the flight took off in Molina,TX. Feel free to watch replays like I did on the flight tracking apps.

    Perhaps a passenger list is filed with the FAA by the owners of the aircraft.

    This same type of story was repeated in Vermont recently by friends who live there. They were in a local deli and 4 customers in the deli stated to the owner that they had just been flown in from Texas.

  50. Al

    This. is. a. show.

    Did you launch a campaign without any sort of website? I tried to figure out where you stand on other issues but it doesn’t look like one exists. Was there anyone involved during the nomination process for the highest profile local that thought it may be helpful for people outside of that room to get to know the candidate? For all the talk of new energy in the town party, this is the same self-defeating mess as usual. At least there are a handful of passionate supporters, which brings me to…

    George! As a casual aviation geek, there is just so much wrong with your post I had to jump down the rabbit hole with you and your friend. Tail N899B did indeed arrive at HPN that night from MLI. However, MLI is Quad City Airport in MOLINE ILLINOIS not Molina Texas. It was a refueling stop from an origin of Aspen CO.

    It then flew on to Monmouth Executive Airport the next morning whose airport code is BLM (maybe you can investigate what’s REALLY going on there). And Larry is absolutely right. This plane seats 8 including crew. It’s chartered so you can even see photos of this aircraft’s interior online.

    So if this wasn’t a rich family’s vacation to Aspen and a really a plane full of COVID infected migrants, they all got to ride their own bus.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that maybe the people screaming that they’ve ‘done the research’ themselves aren’t that good at it

  51. Bryan Meek

    The comments sum up the political discourse in Norwalk lately. Everyone has an opinion, which they are entitled to. But no one seems to care that the guy who just told us to mask up with no legal authority to do so is pictured in the story above this inside the mall with no mask on for photo op, in front of billion dollar brands talking up small business.

  52. Michael McGuire

    Justin Matley

    I think you mischaracterize my comments. I was building on what Mr. Riddle brought up. Wouldn’t you agree that the discord in the U.S. is as much a function of the lack of faith Americans have in our government (and the big-tech, mainstream media cheering section) as anything else?

    Your comments on the treatments are a case in point. Not sure which one is waiting peer review but don’t you find is odd that 20+ months into a world wide pandemic we are still waiting on a peer review? Seems a bit slow walking, no?

  53. Claire Schoen

    @Bryan – I’m not a lawyer (and I don’t play one on TV) but between Governor Lamont’s order of August 5, and reading our own city charter, seems to me that Mayor Rilling does have the legal authority to tell us to mask up.

  54. Janet Luongo

    I agree with only one point made by Jonathan Riddle, Republican candidate for Mayor: It’s good to keep our immune systems strong to protect from illness. That said, the variants threatening us can’t be stopped by Vitamin D. Considering the dangers of the Delta variant, our Democrat mayor, Harry Rilling, re-instituted the public mask mandate indoors, for which I commend him. He is thinking ahead to guard the health of people in our city. Riddle calls this move “Authoritarian,” which I find an upsetting exaggeration. I imagined a child, who broke his leg, calling the doctor who prescribed a cast an “authoritarian” who “limits his freedom.” A wise adult would calmly explain to the child that a temporary cast would help him heal and get back up and running.

    I thank Justin Matley for taking the time to dissect Riddle’s “incomplete truths” and “falsehoods” and offer a firm rebuttal. I researched guidance from medical experts, who are appreciated by a diminishing group who values science and data. Too many in our dark era seem to distrust experts, preferring anonymous purveyors of conspiracies. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends that people even fully vaccinated, wear masks in public indoor settings in communities with “substantial or high transmission.” Which is most of the country now. The hardest hit by COVID-19 are people in Republican-led states, according to an esteemed Johns Hopkins University study:

    Given this shocking data, it’s hard to find appeal in electing a Republican Mayor.

    In my view, the GOP leaders in other states embraced the attitude of selfishness implied in attitudes that individuals can choose not to be vaccinated, choose not to take safety measures. The message is: “My freedom is more important than your health.” Downplay of danger along with inadequate policies of Republican governors and mayors failed to protect the public and led to surges in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. In Louisiana today the hospital system itself is crashing.

    On the other hand, Justin Matley – who is not running for office and describes himself as “open-minded politically” — expresses an attitude of care about the health of other people and our society as a whole. Masks worn by people infected by COVID-19 are effective in blocking the spread of droplets and the virus. But because not all infected people experience symptoms, it’s wise for all to wear a mask. That is, IF we care about protecting the vulnerable – our elders and children.

    I believe we all deserve the right to health and life. Whereas Riddle demands the right to refuse a simple precaution that helps protect our health and life.

    Does Republican Riddle deserve to be Mayor of Norwalk? No thank you.

  55. CT-Patriot

    You have my vote as long as you’re not the typical RINO which seems in abundance in D.C.

    The whole aspect of “masking” is and will be a subject where there are numerous opinions and stats to match.

    Let’s get beyond the “masking” and find what you are going to do for Norwalk citizens.

    Time to get government off the backs of citizens and put the power back into the people’s hands.

    Our country is founded under freedom and liberty. Let’s not forget why we are all here.

  56. What I fear most of all is what this entire issue is doing to our society.

  57. Tysen Canevari

    I would love for Nancy to do an article about where the 90 percent of donations from out of town developers to the mayor’s campaign goes? Surely a couple of ads doesnt cost over a hundred thousand. The people that fluff the mayor all day are similiar to Cuomo who wont discuss his brother on CNN. Fake news i suppose Dems? BTW I took my wife for ice cream in Norwalk tonight. No mask required indoors. I love it

  58. Lisa Brinton

    …in other news … more density and more apartment blocks, with years of tax credits and a city infrastructure that is falling apart. Norwalk really does get the local government it deserves.

  59. Bryan Meek

    @Claire. Maybe. We’ll never know given no one seems to care whether or not the legislature passed a legal authorization when the data did not support an emergency.

    In any case, the Mayor is not wearing a mask, inside, when he just told us to mask up inside. Some will argue that the order didn’t take effect until a few hours later. Those with common sense would say that leading by example might have been a better option than a shameless photo op supporting small businesses against the backdrop of a billion dollar entity that pays a fraction of the taxes that small businesses do here in town.

  60. CT-Patriot

    Well there IS hope….

    District 36 (Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan) has gone to Republican Ryan Fazio, in a district Biden “won” by 25 points

    His victory demonstrates that the people of Connecticut are sick and tired of the radical tax and spend agenda coming from Democrats in Hartford and in Washington, D.C. They’re looking for common-sense leaders who will champion conservative policies that will revive the economy, create jobs, reduce regulations, lower taxes, and keep families safe.

    I see a bright future for Mr Riddle. Norwalk needs change!

  61. Tom Belmont

    I look for promises from a candidate. Main thing is “ I promise to hear you, to fight for your rights, and will be prospective on all legislation ; that it will not effect you negatively.”. Truth and justice shall be the rule. All offices and agencies shall advocate for the taxpayer and interests of the citizen. The progress of the city shall be the result of the life, liberty, property and happiness of its citizens. All law abiding citizens shall be respected and their service anticipated. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights will guide me.

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