HHS Secretary Azar Visits Buffalo to Talk Reopening

“I don’t buy in to any notion of masks being political.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is in Buffalo to talk about reopening during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Azar’s visit to Buffalo is the latest in his tour of healthcare facilities across the country in which he has been speaking about the benefits of reopening the economy.

“We’re on our way to getting to normal, we’re going to get to normal eventually,” Azar told WBEN Thursday morning. “We’ve got to get out of our homes… and back to work, back to school, back in our communities.”

Azar points to the consequences of people not seeking healthcare treatment during the pandemic as a reason to begin smartly reopening. In Erie County, elective surgeries were approved to resume just this week. COVID Hospitalizations in Western New York are at their lowest levels since March.

The Secretary is confident that if common sense safety measures are followed, reopening can begin in earnest.

“It’s just a bit of personal responsibility,” Azar said about steps that can lead to a safe reopening. “We wear the mask not so much to protect us, but to protect others in the event we are asymptomatic… If you go to a grocery store, a pharmacy, be sure you’ve got that mask on and follow the guidance of local leaders. It’s a fairly minimal inconvenience to be able to get us out and about.”

The mask however, has turned into a political argument.

“I don’t buy in to any notion of masks being political.”

During Azar’s trip to Buffalo he will visit Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo General, and also hold a roundtable discussion with local business leaders.

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