Merced Co supervisor responds to video appearing to show him dismiss social workers' safety concerns

MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- "You signed up for this."

That comment has Merced County Supervisor, Scott Silviera, facing backlash from social service employees.

A video circulating online from Tuesday's supervisor meeting shows a county employee reading a letter from an anonymous social worker who says not enough is being done to help the workers.

The video then turns to the supervisor who is heard telling county employees this is what they signed up for before going on to say that some may need to rethink their careers.

"I get emails saying the blood is on our hands, that's bs. If it's that bad, rethink your line of work," Silviera can be heard saying.

Silviera, however, says the video circulating isn't what it seems.

"They put a clip of the social workers anonymous that public commented. They then went to a clip of my comment. It seemed like I was directly responding to those comments," he says.

An anonymous social worker told Action News there isn't enough PPE equipment, and social distancing happening in the office.

They're still doing essential visits to homes but have also been put in dangerous situations.

"There are times that we're asked to go in homes not as essential and when social workers have brought up that there may be someone in the house that present symptoms, we are being told to go into the house anyway," the social worker said.

The county did respond to the allegations, saying measures are being taken to provide workers with PPE while in the field and they have screening protocols in place.

Silveira issues an apology, saying the county is trying to figure out how to make work safer for their essential employees.

"I do apologize it came across harsh. We all have to be in this together," he said.
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