WASHINGTON — Today, GOP senators in Pennsylvania voted to reopen nonessential businesses, overriding Governor Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order and ignoring science backed by medical professionals. Yesterday, Republican Speaker of the House Mike Turzai abruptly brought this bill to the House floor and it passed both chambers with only Republican support.
Medical professionals have advised that people stay inside for their health and warn that the more people are out in public spaces, the more people will die. This move by Republicans in the Pennsylvania legislature makes it perfectly clear that they are far more concerned with listening to Donald Trump than keeping their constituents alive.
“The Pennsylvania GOP has a storied history of passing irresponsible legislation, but even I’m surprised they’ve stooped so low,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “Republicans have sent the message loud and clear: they don’t care about Pennsylvania families or the lives that will be lost should this legislation become law. The GOP’s focus should be on saving lives, not saving the stock market.”
The move by Republicans comes as GOP lawmakers across the country begin to call for their states to reopen nonessential businesses in the height of a pandemic. Across the country, Republicans have pushed for their states to skirt mitigation tactics put in place at the advice of medical professionals in a dangerous, partisan push to please Donald Trump. These calls follow rising deaths across the country. In Pennsylvania, there have been 746 deaths and over 25,000 cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began.
“Pennsylvania Republicans are going to be held accountable for this vote,” added Post. “If they think they can curry favor with right-wing Republicans then go back to their districts and claim they acted responsibly – they’re wrong. Voters have a clear choice in this election: they can vote for Democrats who are fighting to keep their communities safe or Republicans who just voted to put profits over people.”