City Council President Loretta Scott: vaccine misinformation dangerous 

Rochester City Council President Loretta Scott is speaking out about misinformation involving COVID-19 vaccines.

City Council President Loretta Scott. - PHOTO BY JAMES BROWN / WXXI NEWS
  • City Council President Loretta Scott.
Scott said the rhetoric that she has seen being spread about the vaccines is concerning and false, particularly rumors about people being harmed while the drug was tested in trials. She said these rumors are especially harmful in minority communities that have been hit hard by COVID-19.

Scott also said public officials should not use their energy to make people wary of the vaccine, especially with a high number of local positive cases. She said that the public should rely on medical professionals instead of social media to get information.

“To have anything that would impact our ability to participate fully in a cure is just, it's dangerous,” Scott said. “I believe that our efforts should be geared to encouraging and enlightening people toward the availability and upcoming availability of this vaccine instead of frightening people.”

Among those who Scott is critical of is City Council Member Jose Peo, who is holding a march against mandatory vaccines on New Year's Day. Peo said he’s had combative conversations with several council members about his stance.

Peo also acknowledges that no COVID-19 vaccine has been made mandatory. He said one bill has been introduced in the state assembly but it has not moved forward.

“This march is against mandatory vaccinations simply put, whether it's been put through as legislation or not,” Peo said. “The fact that someone, who is an elected official, thought of the idea of mandating a vaccine is incredibly difficult to swallow.”

Peo also said he’s had pushback from other council members.

“The conversations that they’ve tried with me have been more of a combative type instead of a trying to understand type,” he said.

County Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell originally planned to participate in the march but pulled out of it. Peo said he will proceed with his plans for the march.

James Brown is a reporter at WXXI.

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