Wolf Responds To Federal Ruling That His Actions Related To COVID-19 Were Unconstitutional

Tom Wolf
Photo credit Mark Makela / Stringer

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on Tuesday responded to a federal ruling that his administrations restrictions put into place amid the COVID-19 pandemic were unconstitutional.

he released the following statement.

“There’s no sense debating a ruling that will be appealed. Two of three federal judges upheld what we did.
“But what’s not up for debate is that our early and decisive action saved lives. While the federal government dithered, Pennsylvania took action. Our hospitals were never overwhelmed and research tells us thousands of lives were saved.
“So would we, in hindsight, do some things differently? Of course. 
“Would I follow the irresponsible demands of the President or the Republican legislature? Absolutely not.
“And that’s the choice we all have to make: do we want to be responsible - to our own families and others - and take steps to mitigate the spread of this virus that’s taken 200,000 American lives? Or do we not?
“I believe the vast majority of Pennsylvanians understand what we had to do in the beginning was necessary to keep people safe before we had the resources to reopen safely.
“And the vast majority don’t buy into conspiracy theories or fear mongering from the President or Harrisburg Republicans about this virus. They wear masks. They keep distance. They are smart about how they interact with others. They are responsible.
“And contrary to the misinformation from the legislature, we are reopened. And we’ve been able to manage outbreaks and mitigate risk successfully, while trying to bring some normalcy to our lives. And right now, Pennsylvania is a leader in the region in how we’ve kept deaths and sickness low.
“I will continue to do what is necessary to keep people safe and contain the virus. That’s the key.
“Containing the virus is the only way to protect our health and keep our economy going.
“We will appeal, and we will take that appeal as far as necessary to ensure we can do that.
“I want to reassure people that may be nervous or worried about what’s ahead this fall: no matter what, we will find a way to keep Pennsylvanians safe.
“And I’m going to keep urging the federal government and Republicans in the legislature to take steps to help workers, families and small businesses. 
“Yesterday, Harrisburg Republicans “celebrated” while thousands upon thousands in our state continue to suffer and even more worry about what the virus could bring this fall.
“And the President could do nothing but stare at his cell phone and share messages of hate, division and disinformation.
“We need the President and the legislature to get serious about our recovery, and that starts with being responsible about the virus. They are celebrating a court ruling while refusing to help anyone but themselves.
“We deserve better, and I’m going to keep holding their feet to the fire to stop playing politics with this disease and stop fighting me, and start living up to the responsibilities of their offices.
“I’ll continue to keep Pennsylvania’s residents and economy safe by taking the virus seriously and helping those in need.”

A federal judge has declared the COVID-19 restrictions set in place by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine unconstitutional.

The Honorable William Stickman the 4th, District Judge, U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, issued the judgement Monday, stating that the orders violated components of the first and fourteenth amendments. 

Earlier this year, the administration imposed stay-at-home orders for Pennsylvanians and put into place restrictions that forced non-life-sustaining businesses to close. Since then, many of those restrictions have been lifted, however new restrictions that affect the restaurant industry and the gathering of people were put into place.

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