On July 8th, Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh reported during a press briefing that there had not been any outbreaks associated with bars and restaurants in the county.
A week later on July 15th, Governor Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine “signed new orders for targeted mitigation efforts in response to the recent rise in COVID cases, primarily in southwest Pennsylvania, but also in other counties in the state, influencing the decision for statewide mitigation efforts for bars and restaurants, gatherings and telework.”
The order reduced from 50% to 25% the capacity allowed for indoor dining and required alcohol to be served only when a meal was also purchased.
CBS21’s Brian Sheehan asked the Wolf Administration for the data it utilized to connect bars and restaurants to a rise in COVID-19 cases across the state. Wolf initially agreed to release the data and then declined to do so. Watch the video below and see how snippy Wolf gets about the request to release the data. That is the face of unchecked power.
When the pandemic started Wolf claimed he was going to utilize a regional approach. Based on what Dr. Arkoosh reported for Montgomery County, there is absolutely the need for the data to be released as to why an issue in Allegheny County is impacting Montgomery and other counties across the state.
While we are all for wearing masks and social distancing, that doesn’t mean Wolf gets a pass for ignoring the criteria he established. We also have to point out that it’s not a good look for a politician who keeps saying “science and data” to refuse to release the data. He claims to have it, but he isn’t going to share it with you.
Wolf not releasing the data just gives ammo to those who have criticized and refused to comply with his mitigation plan. If he makes a decree, he has to back it up.
We support CBS21’s request for the data. You should too.