MASTRIANO OP-ED: Governor Wolf, COVID-19 is not about making money and killing babies

Governor Tom Wolf recently declared that our Commonwealth is in the midst of a potentially catastrophic health crisis and unilaterally issued proclamations and edicts that shut down thousands of businesses, putting millions out of work.

This was in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.  The necessity of this far-reaching order can only be judged after the virus runs its course, and how much “damage” these preventative measures do to our lives. 

The question will be, was Wolf’s cure worse than the disease?  I believe the answer will be yes.

The Governor made things far worse than they should have been by not working with the legislature, but rather relying upon his young and often inexperienced staff to make life changing decisions on which businesses/functions should and should not remain open.

His office contradicts its decisions in the same day and gives waivers to some – and denials for others – across the state, even though those businesses provide the same services.

It is increasingly evident that many of the decisions made on the Governor’s list of essential businesses were riddled with a political axe to grind rather than looking out for the people of Pennsylvania.

Wolf’s proclamation March 18th ordered an end of all construction (everything), as well as the closing of coal mines, quarries and many other functions that support our agriculture, infrastructure and energy sector. 

The Senate pushed back hard on this highly-politicized list and received concessions, albeit concessions that should have never been needed.

And then, the shadow of political payoff rests in the shadows of some of Wolf’s decisions.

The Philadelphia Inquirer on March 27 did an expose showing how Governor Wolf’s family legacy cabinet and kitchen business was still in operation, claiming they had a waiver to stay operational.  This, while all other kitchen and cabinet manufacturers across the state were ordered by the Governor’s office to shut down last week.

If this was not a conflict of financial interest, then nothing is.  Imagine having the powers of Thanos to knock out all of your competition with a stroke of a pen, as the Governor so effectively managed to do with little notice or outrage.

But yet, the political double speak continues to emanate from the halls of the Capitol. 

In their daily addresses, Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine tell us of the immediate danger that we face and in addition to personal measures that we must take to ameliorate the impact of the disease, that all medical professions are needed in this hour of need.

Indeed, we do need all medical personal on deck for this battle.  To preserve our valuable medical professionals and to have them at the ready, the Governor and his Secretary of Health have unilaterally ordered the end of all elective surgeries until the end of the COVID-19 crisis.

Unless it’s life-saving, your hip surgery, leg surgery, knee, oral surgery and everything else is on hold until the crisis passes.

But, of course, his one notable exception is abortion.

This could be overlooked as the Governor and his Health Secretary preach, in their science-defying explanation, that abortion does not kill a human, but that it is an elective procedure.

If that is the case, then why not postpone it as he did all other procedures?

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, it is unconscionable that he will allow this, and subject thousands of health care professionals to COVID-19 for what he says is an elective procedure.  This is the problem with politicians, the hypocrisy and Orwellian newspeak.

To protect his radical political agenda, the Governor is keeping thousands of needed health care professional out of the COVID-19 fight and putting our state at greater risk.  How could anyone in their right mind think that this is acceptable?

In the end, we want our Governor to lead and make decisions that are in the best interest of our state, not in the best interests of his wallet or dubious political agenda.

Keeping his own business in operation during this crisis, when all the competition has been ordered closed by him, speaks volumes.

Additionally, banning all elective medical procedures, to ensure our medical team is focused on COVID-19 would be more palatable if he did not, of course, provide an unreasonable exception for the abortion industry, which has fed his campaign literally millions of dollars.  If this is not a political payoff, then nothing is.

I call upon Governor Wolf to set aside his business interests, as well as his partisan ideas on abortion, to protect the people of Pennsylvania from the real health crisis that we face.

Senator Mastriano represents the 33rd District in the Pennsylvania Senate. The District includes Adams County and parts of Franklin, Cumberland and York counties.