Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf clearly wants to handle the pandemic on his own even as the state’s COVID vaccine distribution remains one of the worst in the country.
On Friday, he renewed the Disaster Emergency declaration he first signed in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the 4th renewal of the Disaster Emergency declaration and is in effect for 90 days. It’s a clear signal that Wolf doesn’t intend on relinquishing the absolute power he believes it gives him.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Renews Pandemic Disaster Emergency for 4th Time
In a statement announcing his renewal of the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency, Wolf tries to explain why it’s necessary but everything he mentions can just as easily be approved by the General Assembly. And there’s even a chance someone in each of those political bodies might have a better idea than he’s got at combatting the pandemic.
But for the length of the pandemic, Wolf hasn’t been interested in outside opinions. He’s clearly had a plan since March 6, 2020, and that plan wasn’t really to keep Pennsylvanians safe, as he claims. Instead, Wolf has politicized the virus almost like no one else.
Remember at the beginning of the pandemic, as Pennsylvanians were still trying to figure out just what the hell was happening to their normal routine lives, Wolf is getting in front of people and starts pushing for things like a major increase in the minimum wage. Meanwhile, he couldn’t get his mind made up on whether face masks were required or not and only a full, under-oath investigation will finally reveal what happened as nursing home deaths from COVID-19 multiplied.
Come to think of it, has there been any public health aspect to the pandemic response in Pennsylvania that’s gone smoothly?
The “lockdowns” themselves were a terrible decision from the outset. But for Wolf, that decision, like many others, served a political purpose over a public health purpose. (Like the fear created over voting in person and then bending or breaking rules for holding elections.)
And now, as the state tries to emerge fully from the pandemic and get its most vulnerable residents vaccinated, Wolf is flopping but still wants to handle this on his own. This would be an ideal time for Wolf to finally give up on the Disaster Emergency. His administration is reeling for one of the worst vaccine distribution efforts in the country. And that was compounded earlier this week when we learned that about 200,000 Pennsylvanians were given the wrong dose of the Moderna COVID vaccine.
Obviously, Wolf is and has been in over his head and needs help. But he’s too proud or too stubborn and ignorant to ask.
Photo: Office of the Governor