New York City’s self described “Guardian” put others at risk Wednesday when he went maskless at a crowded indoor Republican club rally in Queens.
Photos shared by an event attendee show GOP mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels vigilante group, without a mask inside a crowded American Legion post during an event hosted by the Whitestone Republican Club — an organization with a history of flouting COVID restrictions. Republican Queens Borough President candidate William Kregler and Council District 19 candidate Vickie Paladino, the club’s president, are also seen without masks inside the hall.
One photo shows Kregler talking with Charles Vavruska, an aide to Councilmember Robert Holden, while Sliwa stands behind them. None wore masks in the photo. Other pictures show the majority of attendees sans mask inside the crowded wood-paneled room.
“I didn’t feel comfortable with that … it was practically completely maskless,” said the photographer, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. “I’m a Republican. I voted for Donald Trump twice [but] I don’t want to get COVID.”
They said at least 50 people were present at the event.
Current state rules restrict non-essential indoor gatherings to 50 people or less until March 22 and mandate that people wear masks when unable to remain six feet apart from others.
Sliwa said ditching the mask was a mistake, though he said he did cover his face at others parts of the night.
“I probably should have worn the mask more,” he said. “Upon second thought, more masks should have been worn.”