Rockland County Executive Ed Day made a surprise visit to an indoor children’s play center in Spring Valley, to show support for it’s Orthodox Jewish owner who reported harassment and threats following public comments he had made on vaccination.
As reported on YWN, Shimon Singer, owner of TurtleBoo, was interviewed on CNN and shared his thoughts on the ongoing measles outbreak and the need to vaccinate. Singer, a father of 4, expressed frustration because his now 3-month-old daughter, Malki, is too young to get vaccinated and must be kept home. He also reported about 40 families had canceled birthday parties at his business because of a fear of measles, despite there being no confirmed cases at the location.
As a result of that interview, Singer told News12 he was targeted with hundreds of angry phone calls (in both English and Yiddish) to his home and workplace, and both he and his wife received dozens of angry emails after an email blast encouraged followers to harass the family. “If you know him or her, call them up and say how disgusting and unethical this interview is, especially as a Jewish family,” the email said.
Singer was not at TurtleBoo on Tuesday, but County Executive Day spoke with store employees and expressed his support and solidarity. Day wrote on Facebook, “in simple terms … I got their back.”
The visit came the same day Rockland County officials declared a third state of emergency in an effort to combat the measles outbreak, mandating anyone infected with or exposed to the measles stay home or face fines.
Health officials also reported there are now 254 confirmed cases in Rockland County.
The order also affects more than 20 schools and day care centers where students must show proof of vaccination or a valid medical or religious exemption.
County health officials say their actions are working. They say more than 21,000 MMR vaccinations have been given in Rockland since the outbreak began in October, and they say that number has increased by more than 4,000 since the declaration of the original state of emergency. “When you have a situation with this kind of consequence to it, that can be damaging in so many ways to health, economy, you don’t let up. So we’re going to continue on our way,” says Rockland County Executive Ed Day.