Wolf urges Trump to abide by COVID-19 guidance for PA rallies

March 2020 File Photo provided by Gov. Wolf

HARRISBURG – Governor Tom Wolf is urging President Donald Trump abide by the state’s COVID-19 mitigation guidance when visiting the commonwealth. In a statement Friday, Governor Wolf says President Trump should help solve problems for Pennsylvanians instead of exacerbating public health risks.

Wolf says three weeks ago, the Trump campaign held a rally in Pennsylvania disregarding gathering limits, mask orders and social distancing guidelines. Wolf says his administration is still awaiting a response to a letter sent to the campaign asking them to abide by the mitigation measures.

Wolf says holding events, including a rally in Harrisburg Saturday, is ‘not just misguided, it is dangerous, manipulative and wrong.”

Governor’s full statement:

“Three weeks ago, the Trump campaign held a rally here in Pennsylvania that violated the commonwealth’s public health guidance by disregarding gathering limits, mask orders and social distancing guidelines. My administration did not make an exception for that rally, and is still awaiting a response to a letter sent to the Trump campaign on September 10, 2020, asking them to abide by the commonwealth’s COVID-19 mitigation measures in order to keep our residents safe. Again this past Tuesday, the president held a large rally in close quarters here in Pennsylvania. Once again, I am requesting that the President of the United States not endanger Pennsylvanians by holding unsafe rallies that will put Pennsylvania communities at risk.

“It is gravely concerning that the president would insist on holding this event with blatant disregard for social distancing and masking requirements. His decision to bring thousands of people together in a tight space in the midst of a global pandemic caused by an airborne virus is flat out wrong. No matter what party you support, all Americans should be very concerned that the president has put headlines and publicity above the health and safety of our families and communities. Any Pennsylvanian who chooses to attend a rally, or any large gathering, should take protective steps like wearing a mask and maintaining proper social distancing for the duration of the event. Mitigation efforts like these will help protect Pennsylvanians from potentially contracting this deadly virus and bringing it home to their families.

“It is dangerous and disappointing that the president continues to ignore science and his own health advisors while putting the lives of those who support him at risk. The president has admitted to lying about the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the meantime, our country has lost more than 200,000 lives on his watch. While we continue to see only tepid and contradictory attempts at leadership from the White House, families have lost loved ones, the economy has taken a massive hit and communities are crying out for help.

“Instead of spending his time on rallies, the president should return to Washington and deal with things that matter to Pennsylvanians, like unemployment assistance, state and local aid, hazard pay and a cohesive strategy for pulling the country out of this pandemic as quickly as possible.

“To hold this event is not just misguided, it is dangerous, it is manipulative and it is wrong. I would ask Pennsylvanians to think of the health and safety of their families and their communities before attending this event or any rally put on by the Trump campaign. And I would ask the president, for once, to put the health of his constituents ahead of his own political fortunes.”

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