House Democratic leaders support Gov. Wolf’s response to state health crisis

HARRISBURG, March 20 – House Democratic leaders said criticism of Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to use emergency powers to shut down non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania is off-base in light of the most up-to-date medical guidance for dealing with COVID-19.

“This unprecedented national public health emergency demands leadership from all levels of government. This is a matter of life and death, without hyperbole. That’s a reality we all need to confront. In conjunction with top medical professionals, the governor is leading our state and working to make the best decisions based on medical evidence. Every hour we see more of that evidence in front of us.

“Now is the time to reduce people’s contact in order to lessen the impact of this crisis and reduce its duration. Simply put, the action taken by the governor, which is strongly supported by Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, will save lives. Taking swift action sooner rather than later will lessen the long-term impact on businesses and help our employers and employees return to normal as soon as possible.

“The governor is facing impossible choices and is making decisions based on the advice of medical experts. We will continue to work and offer help and guidance to all affected employees and employers. We thank all the business owners who have led the way in this effort and helped prevent the spread of the virus, as well as the medical professionals and first responders who are once again running toward an emergency as others run away.  

“We’re currently looking at a public health crisis the likes of which we have not seen in recent times. Being an elected official is about serving the public, and that service is needed now more than ever. We ask all Pennsylvanians to stay home, stay calm and stay safe, and we commit to following the governor’s leadership and doing everything in our power to mitigate the life-changing impact this will have on our state.

“We’re all in this together as Pennsylvanians, and by working together and heeding the advice of our medical professionals we can minimize the potential damage to our people and our state.”