Today should have been the day Schuylkill County moved to the Yellow phase of Pennsylvania’s grand reopening scheme hatched by Gov. Tom Wolf.
Instead, we’re sitting here still in the Red phase after our County Commissioners let us down earlier this week.
ICYMI: On Wednesday, after Democrat Commissioner Gary Hess admitted he made a decision “in haste” to back down from a letter indicating to Wolf we’re going to Yellow on our own – as other counties similarly declared – the Commissioners voted to wait it out a little longer.
For those who did miss it, we found some insider footage of how that Commissioners meeting went this week:
Now, Commissioners George Halcovage and Boots Hetherington did indicate they weren’t willing to wait forever for Wolf to move us to Yellow. However, they did agree to wait nearly a week to have a call with Wolf and Health Secretary Rachel Levine to discuss our progress toward that Yellow phase.
In just a few short minutes, we went from having ice water running through our veins to a bunch of spineless wimps.
It was really quite sad.
And it deflated thousands of people across Schuylkill County, especially thousands of small business owners. Those are the same business owners who Commissioner Hetherington stood up for at the meeting on Wednesday before his spine gave out and he caved to Hess’ balk.
We suggest Commissioners Halcovage and Hetherington take the weekend to read “The Art of the Deal” by a certain President of the United States to learn how to negotiate from a position of strength.
Disappointment in those two remains high but it’s really on Hess for seeding that idea in the first place.
Putting Our Fate in the Governor’s Sanitized Hands
So, now we wait. And we’re going to keep waiting until Gov. Wolf says we behaved enough to move to the Yellow phase of the reopening. Or we’ll wait until we reach some mysterious ever-changing benchmark for stopping the viral spread of the Chinese virus.
When will that be? No one knows.
Either way, we no longer control our own destiny.
We don’t even know if or when Wolf intends on announcing more counties that get to advance on the coronavirus reopening plan. A source tells The Canary that neighboring Berks County could be in the Red phase until August. That’s right … August!
Now, we’re definitely not Berks County but that’s not a good sign.
If Wolf does announce today more counties that get to move to Yellow as he has the last two Fridays, don’t count on Schuylkill County being in that mix. That would look like Wolf caved in to us just as we did to him.
On Monday, he called us all cowardly and immoral and selfish. Wolf said we were surrendering to the Chinese virus.
Anyone who uses language like that from a position he has isn’t going to cave or give in to our pressure. If anything, he’ll double-down on his orders.
What Wolf wants is for everyone to think that he had the right plan all along. And he needs to justify keeping Schuylkill County, for example, under his questionably legal Stay at Home order for as long as he did.
— Coal Region Canary 🐤 (@HardCoalCanary) May 14, 2020