Butler County commissioner denies calling COVID-19 ‘bogus’

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 10:29 PM CDT
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BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) - As counties across Kansas try to gain the upper hand on COVID-19, a Butler County woman claims a Butler County commissioner called the virus “bogus” and further, claims there is an audio recording from a recent meeting that proves it. That commissioner, Marc Murphy, denies the accusation.

Currently, Butler County is not under a mask mandate, but cases there are on the rise. That’s why Lara Pollock and her daughter, who is working at a polling site for the 2020 general election felt the need to address Butler County commissioners about masks at the polls. They said the county commission, that also serves as the county board of health, should be strongly suggesting that people wear masks when they show up to vote.

“I feel like it’s really important to step it up. I’m calling them on this,” Pollock said.

She said her biggest concern is that hundreds of people in Butler County will show up to vote without wearing masks to help limit the potential spread of COVID-19 and that by many not doing so, in-person voting in Butler County could become a super-spreader event.

“If it’s that scary, I would suggest not being a poll worker,” one commissioner said, addressing Pollock’s concern.

Another commissioner, in part, responded with a statement that there might be too much of a focus on COVID-19 when it comes to community concerns.

“We have seen huge spikes in drug-overdose deaths. We’ve seen spikes in people dying from cancer, in heart-related issues and so forth, and there is perhaps an over-focus on this on particular virus,” the commissioner said.

The commissioners listened to Pollock, but didn’t take any action. Eyewitness News on Wednesday reached out to Murphy and other commissioners heard in the recording.

“I do not believe this is bogus and never said that,” Murphy said.

Another said the recorded discussion was “a nice exchange of views.”

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