HARRISBURG – Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) issued the following statement today regarding her vote in favor of House Resolution 836, legislation that would end the executive order Governor Wolf has used to shut down businesses for months on end:
“This executive order has caused irreparable harm to some employers in my district as customers have crossed the border into West Virginia. This happened despite this region experiencing some of the lowest rates of COVID-19 in the state, and the willingness of businesses to operate following the guidelines of health experts.
“Without considering input from stakeholders and members of the General Assembly, the Governor closed many businesses in Pennsylvania that could have responsibly operated under the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. The people of southwestern Pennsylvania are capable, creative, driven, and most of all, they are compassionate. Business owners – both large and small – want to succeed, but they have been hanging on by a thread.
“Cases of depression, mental health crises and food insecurity are skyrocketing. Poverty inflicted by the Wolf Administration’s shutdown order is climbing. The number of child abuse investigations is plummeting. Domestic violence service providers are bracing for historic increases. Meanwhile less than 10 percent of our hospital beds are filled with COVID-19 patients. Even as testing has increased statewide, the number of new cases has actually declined. It is a rare case where a disaster declaration actually creates more harm than good, but that is exactly what we are seeing in our communities every day under this extended declaration.
“We have flattened the curve, and now we have to flatten the fear. I have said from the beginning of this crisis that we need to focus on protecting both lives and livelihoods – these are not mutually exclusive goals.”
CONTACT: Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463