Pa. lawmakers, Governor spar over Farm Show Tour to see PPE stockpile

Pennsylvania Politics

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — State lawmakers were denied access to the Pa. Farm Show Complex on Wednesday. They wanted to see the PPE that’s being housed there. Masks, gowns and gloves have become political footballs and offer no protection from divisive rhetoric.

A handful of Republican state Representatives put the show in Farm Show at 9 a.m. when, as expected, they couldn’t get in the front door — in front of cameras.

“We are the legislators the oversight committees that represent the taxpayers that own this building,” Rep. Dan Moul (R-Adams) said.

They came to tour the state’s stockpiled PPE knowing their invitation had been yanked for refusing to sign a form prohibiting them from taking pictures or speaking about what they saw.

“The non-disclosure agreement is completely out of line. It violates our Constitutional duties as a co-equal branch of government,” Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) said.

In a statement, the Governor’s spokesperson blasted the lawmakers, saying their “priority seems to be publicity over public safety.”

Adding with millions in PPE, “details of our stockpile must remain confidential so as to not invite any threats.”

“Every step of the way, we are locked out and that is not fair to a co-equal branch of government and it’s not fair to taxpayers,” Moul said.

Rep. Karen Boback (R-Luzerne, Wyoming, Lackawanna) chairs the Veterans Affairs Committee and wonders why the PPE isn’t housed at Fort Indiantown Gap — among many other questions.

“Where’s it going? Why here? Are we gonna move it out? What are we gonna do with it? I’m disappointed, I thought I’d get to see it today,” Boback said.

Not as disappointed as area businesses and municipalities who make a lot of money off shows in the complex that aren’t getting booked because of boxes.

“The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is losing a great deal of revenue by this building being locked down,” Moul said.

Moul said, without presenting evidence, that he’s heard that defective PPE has been taken from the farm show to an incinerator. The Governor’s Office flatly denied and called that conspiracy theory and lies.

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