Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf declared that there will be “consequences” for counties that violate his stay-at-home orders as President Trump pushed the state to speed up its reopening process.
Wolf made the statements in a series of tweets Monday.
“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,” the governor wrote. “Today I am announcing consequences for counties that do not abide by the law to remain closed.”
The governor, a Democrat, wrote that non-compliant counties will not be eligible for federal stimulus discretionary funds — and that the funds would instead “be allocated to counties working to stop the spread of #COVID19.”
Businesses that do not abide by Wolf’s order could also jeopardize their liability insurance — and risk receiving citations that could ultimately cost them their liquor licenses, he wrote.
He assured protections for workers in counties that open too soon.
“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 governor said.
“The dangers associated with #COVID19 may not be readily visible to all, but they are present,” he added. “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.”
Trump singled out the Keystone State in a tweet Monday.
“The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails,” he wrote. “The Democrats are moving slowly, all over the USA, for political purposes. They would wait until November 3rd if it were up to them. Don’t play politics. Be safe, move quickly!”
At a Monday press conference, Wolf said reopening decisions are based on the advice of scientists, medical professionals and the state’s epidemiologists, according to WGAL.
Each county is considered individually before it moves from the red phase into yellow or green, with fewer restrictions, he said.
Several Susquehanna Valley counties have written to Wolf informing him that they are moving into the yellow phase — with or without his permission, according to the report.