We’re trusting the science and the data.
That’s what we’ve heard from the beginning from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Rachel Levine.
Of course, they meant only the science and data they read. Don’t dare try to cross them as they, and they alone, chart the course and take all the credit (and none of the blame) in Pennsylvania’s tyrannical coronavirus recovery.
Lebanon County Staying in Yellow Phase as Political Payback
On Friday, as Wolf announced the rest of Pennsylvania would go to his “New Normal” Green phase of the recovery plan, he left out one county.
Sorry, Lebanon County. You dared to defy and now Wolf and Levine are showing their true colors.
In a statement, Levine said, “Lebanon County’s partisan, politically driven decision to ignore public health experts and reopen prematurely is having severe consequences for the health and safety of county residents. Case counts have escalated and the county is not yet ready to be reopened. Lebanon County has hindered its progress by reopening too early. Because of this irresponsible decision, Lebanon County residents are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.”
The GOP is the Enemy
Before today, the virus was the enemy. That’s what Wolf says.
But on Friday, it appears the Republican Party is the enemy in Harrisburg.
When Lebanon County officials voted to ignore Wolf’s recovery plan and go their own way — the same day Schuylkill County officials did the same but later reversed — they did so on the judgement of not just the GOP County Commissioners, but public health and business officials, too. They used their science and data.
Oh, and don’t forget, it was Lebanon County’s lone Democrat County Commissioner who went out just days after voting against going Yellow and violated all the orders she thought others should follow:
But Wolf and Levine have no interest in that data and science. Just their own which always seems to back the way they’re thinking.
Is it any wonder how the virus knew to target Lebanon County and infect it greater than any other Pennsylvania county just prior to the all-Green phase? Though the virus seemingly knows no county bounds, it does in Lebanon County. Odd, that.
Is it any wonder that one of the leading voices in the General Assembly, State Rep. Russ Diamond, hails from Annville, Lebanon County? And is it any wonder that one of the most defiant businesses in Pennsylvania – the Taste of Sicily restaurant – is also in Lebanon County?
Man, this virus is SMART!
Or, just perhaps, the data that Wolf and Levine rely upon is once again being skewed.
Case counts up? The news site Lebtown.com reports testing is at record levels in Lebanon County. That would lead to more positive results, naturally. And the “new case” totals reported by the state daily, we’ve seen since near the beginning of the pandemic response, have question marks all over them. Are they really confirmed? Does the number include probable cases, too? And do these counts include people who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies?
Remember when Schuylkill County was seeing an uptick in the number of cases? It came soon after the state started adding in positive antibody tests to the totals. That made it impossible to tell if a case was new or old.
Lebtown.com reports that one of the days in the spike Levine mentions came from one of her famous “data dumps” that send case totals unnaturally high for a day or two.
Again, it’s the data that Wolf and Levine see, no one else.
Lebanon County Responds to Wolf and Levine
On Friday afternoon, those representing Lebanon County in Harrisburg fired off a letter to their constituents.
In it, Sen. Dave Arnold, and Reps. Diamond, Frank Ryan, and Sue Helm say “Secretary of Health Dr. Levine’s highly political statement regarding Lebanon County is an absolute insult to equality and fair treatment, and may have violated the constitutional rights of 140,000 county residents, regardless of their politics. We are all ardent supporters of transparency in government and we can all see right through this punitive decision.
“As far as we are concerned, the governor has lost all credibility regarding every aspect of his shutdown and deserves only to be ignored. Lebanon Countians, and Pennsylvanians as a whole, should treat this edict with the same respect that he has treated all of us, absolutely none.”
You can check out the full letter here: