Tuesday, March 9, 2021

No Good Deed . . .

This past Saturday, there was a pop-up vaccination clinic here in Hudson, designated for the minority and underserved community. The clinic was conducted by New York State and took place at the Central Fire Station. It was one of twelve community-based pop-up clinics announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo on March 4, which took place at various locations throughout the state. The clinic here in Hudson was organized by former Fourth Ward supervisor Bill Hughes. 

One hundred residents registered for the clinic, and a reported 96 showed up to be vaccinated. Most of those vaccinated were from the Second and Fourth wards. The clinic was declared a success, but it seems to have put the noses of some elected officials out of joint. Aliya Schneider reported today in the Register-Star that Second Ward alderman Tiffany Garriga and Fourth Ward supervisor Linda Mussmann "criticized Hughes for not including them in the organization of an effort that targets their constituents": "Anger voiced over pop-up clinic." 

What Gossips finds more interesting about Saturday's pop-up clinic is that it seems to have attracted a group of pandemic and vaccine naysayers from elsewhere in the county to Hudson. This trio of trucks bearing signs intended to inspire fear and doubt about the efficacy of the vaccine was sighted in a parking lot on Green Street in Hudson on Saturday, and Gossips has received reports that people were knocking on doors in the Second Ward warning residents against getting the vaccine. 

Photo: Lynda Akerman
Gossips was able to get some examples of the print material being distributed to residents. Two of the handbills are reproduced below.

The source of this material is identified as www.doweneedthis.org. Gossips has learned that throughout the pandemic the group has been writing letters to the Columbia County Board of Supervisors questioning the need for the emergency response. In one of the letters that Gossips has seen, which was written in August 2020, they claimed that the mortality rate in Columbia County in 2020 was "entirely normal," arguing that "People are dying at a normal rate and at normal times of life." The letter suggested that the Board of Supervisors was "entering murky and vulnerable waters by declaring a health emergency without a sound basis." Among the information on the group's website is this: 
"5 questions to ask your friends who plan to get the Covid shot." 

The image below in from the Do We Need This? website.

Photo: www.doweneedthis.org
Gossips Disclosure: I got my first dose of the Moderna vaccine last Wednesday and am scheduled to get my second at the end of this month.


  1. Like the vaccine is going to turn us in to zombies? Everyone knows zombies are caused by the blue meth made on Breaking Bad. These anti-vaxxers need to get their facts straight.

  2. I can't wait to get my second shot, and my 28 year old kid can't wait to get her first. If these folks want to get sick and see loved ones die, it's their prerogative. The big question is how do we keep them from harassing people outside their loony bubble?

  3. Some of these folks became vocal and a bit disruptive at one of Rep. Delgado's Town Hall meetings in Churchtown in February of last year. Delgado gave a respectful hearing to a question on the topic but the crowd grew restive when he did not agree with the anti-vax stance. After the meeting, one of the trucks pictured above was parked outside, folks were passing out anti-vax pamplets, and someone was holding a sign outside that said "my body, my choice."

    Shortly after, the NY Times published an article on a group that mobilizes to protect doctors from coordinated social media attacks by anti-vax groups. It's called "Shots Heard Round the World" & it's a good recourse for anyone interested in combating this kind of disinformation.

  4. Very interesting. The 'Who is Responsible for Determining Your Future' billboard has been parked south of the Livingston Hannaford Rt. 9 for months. Their schtick is anti-government though Bill Gates is on the list. I guess any entity that cares is on their hit list. The worst out there, extremists sowing fear with lies to gain control. I wonder where that can lead! A little Capitol insurrection! In broad daylight, hounding democratically elected representatives. Troubling. And whoever they are, getting more aggressive.
    BTW, received my first dose of Pfizer today - piece of cake 🎂!

  5. Their latest feigned outrage is vaccine conspiracies. There have been PRE-PANDEMIC billboards at the same site for at least 3 years. Anti-Federal and state government signage. This is a ruse purposely targeting the stress of pandemic safety protocols to rally mass support. They are not anti-vaxxers, they are anti-government. Sole goal to instill fear and suspicion of government. Clearly stated in their Blog. Message, the government is out to injure you. Does this remind you of anything or anyone? How to keep them from harassing the rest of us you ask? Hey, it may come to alert authorities. And, I don't mean the State Troopers on Rt. 9. I thought in 2018,2019 that it's probably just one kook - well, no!

    1. This is such a troubling social trend ! Are these folks just anarchistic for the sake of upsetting everything ---with what ultimate purpose?

    2. Anti-vax is just one element of the agenda. These are the Trump extreme supporters who showed us what they are made of Jan 6. Yes, they need vigilance. They are getting very clever with their earth friendly LOOKING website. They are not! Not a lone kook on rt.9 Livingston anymore. Mobilizing around the county, vaccination sites and disrupting government meetings is very troubling. As with voting premises, there is strict restrictions about interference. This should be considered.

  6. Kudos to Bill Hughes for seeing a need in an underserved community and stepping up to give his neighbors the opportunity to get vaccinated. Black and brown communities have been particularly hard-hit by Covid, and for him to step in as a private citizen and make sure his neighbors had access to a much-needed vaccine on his own time is wonderful.

    For Ms. Garriga to charge Mr. Hughes with sexism for not including her is disappointing but sadly less and less surprising. When faced with the choice of the politically advantageous and the ethically sound, Tiffany often chooses the low road. Perhaps the echo is better down in the valley.

    Linda Mussman turning a community vaccination event into a one-person pity party is exactly the kind of behavior we've sadly come to expect from a narcissistic sociopath (who, if she can't by her own admission accomplish anything on the Board of Supervisors, probably just step down and go back to running her sham non-profit, or open a new branch far, far away.) She's long been an underhanded, self-dealing demagogue who espouses progressive ideals while working every opportunity to her own advantage. Hudson's Fourth Ward certainly deserves better representation than this.

  7. The anti-vaxxers are only complimented by the anti-maskers. Recently, anti-maskers staged a convoy up the Taconic and harassed local business around Columbia County. most of them were from NYC and part of a larger anti-masker campaign of hate fueled rhetoric. We just have to come together as a community and push the truth.

    Speaking of community - it's disappointing, to say the least, that 2 elected officials in Hudson are more worried about the optics of their political office, instead of a program to bring vaccines to our local communities. Bill Hughes should be applauded by everyone for this, including our local officials.

    To think they would use this as a political gain shows where their true agenda lies. It's a slat in the face to those who have lost people during this pandemic and just disrespectful of the lives lost.

    The only quotes in that article should have been how good this was for our community and the goal of getting everyone vaccinated so we can return to some sort of normal - like consistent in person learning; small businesses reopening and getting people back into jobs while protecting our citizens.

    Do we have to add elected officials to the list that we have to protect our communities from too?

  8. The short answer to your question is yes. Progressives are so often navel gazing that they fail to contemplate the long-term consequences of their righteousness on the community, and it leaves them vulnerable to bad actors who pander to their noble intentions while actively discouraging them from looking behind the curtain or checking the math. We stare at the other side of the aisle in hapless awe at the pull of Trumpism and fail to realize the same problems exist on the Left.

  9. And there are more. Yesterday I saw an anti-vax truck parked on the 500 block of Washington. Apparently it is a regular fixture there. It announces: "YOU ARE BEING LIED TO" "The COVID 'vaccine' is dangerous. Hopefully the 'vaccinated' will still be here in ten years."