McClinton stresses the need to open economy safely, focus on protecting public health, essential workers

PHILADELPHIA, April 22 State Rep. Joanna McClinton responded Wednesday to legislation being pushed through the legislature by the Republican majority

that would ignore warnings from medical experts and create unnecessary health risks for Pennsylvanians amid the COVID-19 crisis.

"I share in everyone's eagerness to see our neighbors return to work, students go back to school and local businesses yet again have the best opportunities to flourish," said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. "However, each day, when the number of COVID-19 deaths are released, we are reminded of the serious pandemic facing the commonwealth."

She voted against three bills Tuesday (H.B. 2400, H.B. 2376, H.B. 2388) that would bypass current mitigation efforts in place and disregard warnings from health professionals by having certain employees return to work prematurely, putting themselves and those they love at risk.

"We can't open businesses back up by sacrificing the health and safety of our workers," McClinton explained. "Right now, the focus must be on protecting health care employees, first responders and the rest of our essential workforce who are putting their lives on the line each day to help others."

McClinton stressed the need to pass legislation to ensure all essential workers have:

"Opening the floodgates now could lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases, a longer shutdown and more lives lost," McClinton said. "It's imperative we continue practicing social distancing and open the economy at a time when it's safe for everyone."

The House is scheduled to return to session Monday.