Pennsylvania's Governor Wolf and the caring face of totalitarianism

Pennsylvania, under its Democrat governor, Tom Wolf, has had one of the more draconian responses to the New York virus.  Gov. Wolf is now threatening anyone who rebels against this regime.

Wolf's approach has been the same as governors in other Democrat-run states: promise a short lockdown to "flatten the curve" to protect the health care system, and then shift the goalposts to a seemingly permanent lockdown, or semi-lockdown, status until the virus is gone or there is a vaccine.

Wolf also copied the governors of New York and New Jersey when he mandated that nursing homes had to continue taking new admissions and readmissions of people who had the New York virus:

Interim Guidance for Nursing Facilities During COVID-19 (3/18/20)

[snip]

"Nursing care facilities must continue to accept new admissions and receive readmissions for current residents who have been discharged from the hospital who are stable to alleviate the increasing burden in the acute care settings. This may include stable patients who have had the COVID-19 virus."

This mandate was a death sentence.  In Pennsylvania, "more than half of the state's fatalities are from nursing homes."  Matt Ridley points out that medical settings, including nursing homes in which the vulnerable elderly live, are the primary vectors for the New York virus. 

On May 7, Governor Wolf announced that Philadelphia and large parts of the state would continue under lockdown for almost another month, until June 4.  He allowed some counties in the northwest and north-central part of the state to advance through a three-phase opening plan.  He also said some counties in western Pennsylvania could begin to open slowly as of May 15, with "slowly" being the operative word for all of these re-openings:

The relaxed restrictions enable some non-life-sustaining businesses to reopen so long as they follow strict safety orders designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In-person retail sales are permitted, but curbside pickup and delivery options are preferred. 

But indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities must remain closed, along with entertainment venues. Bars and restaurants are still restricted to takeout and delivery options, and gatherings of 25 people or more are still prohibited.

Some Pennsylvania counties are rebelling:

A small but growing number of county officials are challenging Gov. Tom Wolf's control of the state's staged, regional reopening from the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, with majority commissioners in two midstate counties unilaterally declaring Friday that they will consider their counties in the "yellow" phase of the state's reopening plan effective May 15.

Letters from a group of Lebanon County officials and Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste echoed a similar protest from Beaver County, the only county in western Pennsylvania to be excluded from Wolf's announced extension of first-phase reopening steps in southwestern Pennsylvania next Friday.

In addition, sheriffs in Perry and Cumberland posted Facebook notices stating that they would not be a part of enforcing business shutdown orders.

Mid-morning on Monday, President Trump tweeted out support for those Pennsylvanians who want to end the severe lockdown and snail's-pace re-openings:

One hour later, Wolf sent out a series of tweets warning counties that tried to deviate from his program that he would punish them, and the citizens within them, severely: 

I won't sit back and watch residents who live in counties under Stay at Home orders get sick because local leaders cannot see the risks of #COVID19 and push to reopen prematurely.

Today I am announcing consequences for counties that do not abide by the law to remain closed.

Non-compliant counties won't be eligible for federal stimulus discretionary funds. 

Instead, those funds will be allocated to counties working to stop the spread of #COVID19.

Businesses should know that opening in counties that don't abide by the law will potentially jeopardize their business liability insurance or the protections it provides.

Dine-in restaurants that open in counties that have not been authorized to reopen will risk receiving a citation.

These citations can ultimately lead to the loss of a restaurant's liquor license.

If your county reopens prematurely and you don't feel comfortable returning to work, rest assured that the commonwealth will allow you to continue to receive unemployment compensation, even if your employer reopens.

The dangers associated with #COVID19 may not be readily visible to all, but they are present.

We are fighting a war that has taken the lives of too many people. And we're winning.

The politicians who are encouraging us to quit the fight are acting in a most cowardly way.

This is not a time to give up.

This is not time to surrender.

This is a time to rededicate ourselves to the task of beating this virus.

I intend to keep fighting.

And, I believe that the overwhelming majority of my fellow Pennsylvanians intend to keep fighting it too.

And with that unity, I know we can win.

Did you catch all the threats behind the "love"?  Wolf will withhold federal monies from non-compliant counties (although it's not clear he has the power to do so), try to deny insurance coverage to businesses that re-open, and destroy restaurants that re-open by citing them and then seizing their licenses.  All of this is in the name of loving kindness for Pennsylvanians' welfare.  This is the smiling face of fascism, denying freedom to citizens for their own good.

The college-educated and other leftists will willingly accept these totalitarian limitations on their freedom.  It remains to be seen whether normal Pennsylvanians will hand over their civil rights and financial security in response to a promise of safety from a governor who has, to date, failed to deliver.

Pennsylvania, under its Democrat governor, Tom Wolf, has had one of the more draconian responses to the New York virus.  Gov. Wolf is now threatening anyone who rebels against this regime.

Wolf's approach has been the same as governors in other Democrat-run states: promise a short lockdown to "flatten the curve" to protect the health care system, and then shift the goalposts to a seemingly permanent lockdown, or semi-lockdown, status until the virus is gone or there is a vaccine.

Wolf also copied the governors of New York and New Jersey when he mandated that nursing homes had to continue taking new admissions and readmissions of people who had the New York virus:

Interim Guidance for Nursing Facilities During COVID-19 (3/18/20)

[snip]

"Nursing care facilities must continue to accept new admissions and receive readmissions for current residents who have been discharged from the hospital who are stable to alleviate the increasing burden in the acute care settings. This may include stable patients who have had the COVID-19 virus."

This mandate was a death sentence.  In Pennsylvania, "more than half of the state's fatalities are from nursing homes."  Matt Ridley points out that medical settings, including nursing homes in which the vulnerable elderly live, are the primary vectors for the New York virus. 

On May 7, Governor Wolf announced that Philadelphia and large parts of the state would continue under lockdown for almost another month, until June 4.  He allowed some counties in the northwest and north-central part of the state to advance through a three-phase opening plan.  He also said some counties in western Pennsylvania could begin to open slowly as of May 15, with "slowly" being the operative word for all of these re-openings:

The relaxed restrictions enable some non-life-sustaining businesses to reopen so long as they follow strict safety orders designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In-person retail sales are permitted, but curbside pickup and delivery options are preferred. 

But indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities must remain closed, along with entertainment venues. Bars and restaurants are still restricted to takeout and delivery options, and gatherings of 25 people or more are still prohibited.

Some Pennsylvania counties are rebelling:

A small but growing number of county officials are challenging Gov. Tom Wolf's control of the state's staged, regional reopening from the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, with majority commissioners in two midstate counties unilaterally declaring Friday that they will consider their counties in the "yellow" phase of the state's reopening plan effective May 15.

Letters from a group of Lebanon County officials and Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste echoed a similar protest from Beaver County, the only county in western Pennsylvania to be excluded from Wolf's announced extension of first-phase reopening steps in southwestern Pennsylvania next Friday.

In addition, sheriffs in Perry and Cumberland posted Facebook notices stating that they would not be a part of enforcing business shutdown orders.

Mid-morning on Monday, President Trump tweeted out support for those Pennsylvanians who want to end the severe lockdown and snail's-pace re-openings:

One hour later, Wolf sent out a series of tweets warning counties that tried to deviate from his program that he would punish them, and the citizens within them, severely: 

I won't sit back and watch residents who live in counties under Stay at Home orders get sick because local leaders cannot see the risks of #COVID19 and push to reopen prematurely.

Today I am announcing consequences for counties that do not abide by the law to remain closed.

Non-compliant counties won't be eligible for federal stimulus discretionary funds. 

Instead, those funds will be allocated to counties working to stop the spread of #COVID19.

Businesses should know that opening in counties that don't abide by the law will potentially jeopardize their business liability insurance or the protections it provides.

Dine-in restaurants that open in counties that have not been authorized to reopen will risk receiving a citation.

These citations can ultimately lead to the loss of a restaurant's liquor license.

If your county reopens prematurely and you don't feel comfortable returning to work, rest assured that the commonwealth will allow you to continue to receive unemployment compensation, even if your employer reopens.

The dangers associated with #COVID19 may not be readily visible to all, but they are present.

We are fighting a war that has taken the lives of too many people. And we're winning.

The politicians who are encouraging us to quit the fight are acting in a most cowardly way.

This is not a time to give up.

This is not time to surrender.

This is a time to rededicate ourselves to the task of beating this virus.

I intend to keep fighting.

And, I believe that the overwhelming majority of my fellow Pennsylvanians intend to keep fighting it too.

And with that unity, I know we can win.

Did you catch all the threats behind the "love"?  Wolf will withhold federal monies from non-compliant counties (although it's not clear he has the power to do so), try to deny insurance coverage to businesses that re-open, and destroy restaurants that re-open by citing them and then seizing their licenses.  All of this is in the name of loving kindness for Pennsylvanians' welfare.  This is the smiling face of fascism, denying freedom to citizens for their own good.

The college-educated and other leftists will willingly accept these totalitarian limitations on their freedom.  It remains to be seen whether normal Pennsylvanians will hand over their civil rights and financial security in response to a promise of safety from a governor who has, to date, failed to deliver.