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PAGOP Delegation Minus Fitzpatrick Blasts Wolf on COVID-19 Response

Pennsylvania’s Republicans have begun to rally against Gov. Tom Wolf (D) over his response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

In a joint statement issued on Wednesday, eight of the nine members of the state’s GOP congressional delegation issued a joint statement criticizing Wolf’s recent comments earlier this week when he warned that he’d withhold funds from counties that reopen prior to being given the approval under his current plan.

“In a statement issued on Monday, Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf insulted residents across the Commonwealth by threatening to withhold millions of federal dollars from counties that challenge his arbitrary color coding system for reopening the state,” said Reps. G.T. Thompson (R-Centre), John Joyce (R-Blair), Fred Keller (R-Snyder), Mike Kelly (R-Butler), Dan Meuser (R-Luzerne), Scott Perry (R-York), Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny), and Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster). “We remind the Governor these funds were appropriated by Congress for all of Pennsylvania’s counties, not just those who will bend to his will.”

The release continues to describe individuals in counties who want to open up for business despite not being given the green-light as “brave” and disputed Wolf’s statement referring to those opening up early as “surrendering to Coronavirus.” They also add that they view Wolf’s statement as a “slap in the face” to those who are trying to make ends meet during the pandemic. 

“The Governor’s rhetoric is irresponsible and continues to put miles of distance between Pennsylvania and a solution,” the statement reads at the end. “He needs a reality check and more sensitivity to the hardships that families across the Commonwealth are experiencing as a result of his continued shutdown. Enough is enough.”

The lone Pennsylvania Republican in the state’s congressional delegation that did not sign on to the joint statement is Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), while Sen. Pat Toomey (R) released a statement of his own criticizing Wolf for his comments about withholding funds from those counties.

Although the Pennsylvania Democratic Party didn’t immediately respond for comment to PoliticsPA, they sent out an email on Thursday to supporters urging people to sign their name to “support Governor Wolf, Secretary Levine, and Science.” 

“Donald Trump, Pat Toomey, and Harrisburg Republicans are united against their newest common enemy. And no, it’s not the virus that has killed nearly 90,000 Americans,” the email reads at the beginning. “They’ve focused their attacks on Governor Tom Wolf and his administration that’s trying to protect PA lives.”

“Rather than work on bipartisan solutions to a crisis impacting us all, the GOP has spent weeks undermining and verbally assaulting Democratic leadership,” the email continues. “That’s why we’re launching new initiatives to show that voters stand firmly on the side of science and safety.”

On Monday, President Donald Trump shot out a tweet pinpointing Pennsylvania and criticizing Democrats for their response to COVID-19. 

“The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails. The Democrats are moving slowly, all over the USA, for political purposes. They would wait until November 3rd if it were up to them. Don’t play politics. Be safe, move quickly!,” Trump said in the tweet

Wolf responded to Trump’s tweet in a news conference on Monday saying that he’s reopening the state in a “measured way.” 

“I don’t know how you stay safe and move quickly,” Wolf said, according to the Morning Call, adding that “the irresponsible thing to do … is to just willy-nilly go off and pretend that we can wave a magic wand and go back into business and suspend the reality to this virus that’s surrounding us.”

Trump is visiting the Lehigh Valley on Thursday afternoon to an Upper Macungie Township medical equipment distribution center, where he’s expected to talk about coronavirus testing and the equipment needed to combat the pandemic.

Although Pennsylvania’s economy has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, several polls conducted throughout April and the beginning of May showed widespread support for Wolf’s handling of the matter. A Washington Post-Ipsos poll released earlier this week showed that 72% of Pennsylvanians support their governor’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, while 27% disapprove, leaving Wolf with a 45 point net approval rating on the matter. A Fox News poll shows Wolf has a 44 net approval rating on his response to the coronavirus, a Public Policy Polling survey has Wolf with a 30 point net approval rating of his handling of the matter, and polling FOX43/Susquehanna Polling and Research gives the governor a 50 point net approval rating on the issue.

9 Responses

  1. The Supreme Court already ruled in favor of Wolf’s stay at home orders.
    “The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails” WTF?

    Public safety is not an assault on freedom (neither are traffic light or safety signs to keep out of construction zones or failing bridges)

    They have no clue what it entails, since they think the virus is a hoax.

    1. No they didn’t. They refused to hear the case, which specifically does NOT mean they ruled in favor. Only they didn’t think it was worth it to hear.

      This “public safety” is an affront to freedom. Not being able to work is an affront to freedom. Not being able to live free is an affront to freedom. Look at Maryland, Georgia, Florida, California. All are opening up with affecting “public safety”.

      Look I know you are irrationally scared, because that’s how the media screams. They ignore actual science for religious-like science. Wolf follows this, and locks down the entire state when 70% of the deaths are from nursing homes, and 95% of the deaths are over the age of 60. He locks down an entire county when 10 out of 300 deaths are outside a nursing home.

      The only people following science are those who advocate opening. The others are using religion.

      Wolf is a petty tyrant. He needs to be held accountable and arrested for crimes against civil rights.

      1. You are an idiot pushing stupid GOP talking points that try to rationalize the moronic comments of the Orange Baboon.

        1. Says the man who thinks Stack is a Republican…

          Everyone is waiting to hear the science behind your position, Genius.

      2. I bet the re-open protesters would go back home if Wolf told them it was okay to go back to dating their cousins.

        Traffic lights are public safety. Now…imagine if the cross-traffic cars were invisible and the state insisted on strictly enforcing stopping at red lights.. and these dipshits complained it was hurting their freedoms.

        None of those states are opening without affecting public safety. California and Maryland are taking it more slowly and seriously. The Governors of Georgia and Florida are two of the dumbest govs in the country and are completely clueless (and their citizens are going to suffer serious outbreaks).

        Are you and all the other re-opening advocates willing to sign waivers refusing medical treatment for Covid-19?

        1. Traffic lights and cross marrying cousins don’t pay the bills. Opening up your business at least gives you a chance. Why can the big box stores open and stay in business and the small mom and pop stores have to stay closed? They can be just as responsible as the big boys.

          1. You can open every business from Pittsburgh to Philly. Most people I know won’t be eating out or bar hopping until the vaccine is out.

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