HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — With election season in full swing, the Keystone State has been a treasured destination for both presidential candidates. Biden’s visits have been more lowkey, while Trump has typically staged rallies during his stops. Gov. Tom Wolf has taken exception with the latter doing so.
In a statement, the governor asked President Trump to stop holding rallies in the commonwealth, which he says “put Pennsylvania communities at risk.”
Wolf noted that as the president continues to hold rallies in the commonwealth, he is doing so without following state health guidelines, which include social distancing, wearing masks, etc.
While the governor’s masking order still stands, a federal judge last week ruled that his pandemic restrictions are unconstitutional. Wolf is appealing it.
Still, Wolf said two of the president’s rallies earlier this month in Pennsylvania violated the state’s public health guidance. One was before the judge’s ruling, and one last Tuesday came after it.
Wolf has said that earlier efforts to contact the White House about the matter have gone unanswered.
“It is gravely concerning that the president would insist on holding this event with blatant disregard for social distancing and masking requirements. His decision to bring thousands of people together in a tight space in the midst of a global pandemic caused by an airborne virus is flat out wrong. No matter what party you support, all Americans should be very concerned that the president has put headlines and publicity above the health and safety of our families and communities,” the governor said in part.
He continued by asking Pennsylvanians who choose to go to said rallies, do so while practicing health safety etiquette. “Mitigation efforts like these will help protect Pennsylvanians from potentially contracting this deadly virus and bringing it home to their families.”
“It is dangerous and disappointing that the president continues to ignore science and his own health advisors while putting the lives of those who support him at risk. The president has admitted to lying about the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in the meantime, our country has lost more than 200,000 lives on his watch. While we continue to see only tepid and contradictory attempts at leadership from the White House, families have lost loved ones, the economy has taken a massive hit and communities are crying out for help.”
Wolf’s biting remarks continued. The governor urged Trump to weigh the risks involved by holding rallies and instead return to Washington D.C. and handle matters the governor believes is more pertinent to Pennsylvanian lives such as unemployment assistance, state and local aid, and hazard pay.
The governor concluded by stating that holding a rally is inappropriate during a pandemic. “To hold this event is not just misguided, it is dangerous, it is manipulative and it is wrong.”
He asks that Pennsylvanians consider the health of their respective families and communities before going to them.
Trump is set to visit Harrisburg International Airport on Saturday, where he previously mentioned that he would also announce a Supreme Court Justice candidate to fill the seat left vacant by Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing.
A Trump campaign spokesperson said Friday that everyone attending will get a temperature check before admission, be provided a mask they are encouraged to wear and have access to hand sanitizer. The spokesperson did not respond to questions about how many people were expected at Saturday’s rally.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.