Gov. Wolf got it right. Period.

Alarm bells are going off in Texas, Florida and California. In more than 30 states, the number of people infected with the coronavirus is rising. But Pennsylvania is not one of them.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top health expert, says the country is “facing a serious problem in certain areas.” He doesn’t want to lay blame, but it’s not hard to read between the lines. People are getting sick and dying in states that reopened too soon, closed too late and where governors didn’t move with enough courage and determination to save lives.

They bent to the pocketbook. And people died as a result. That didn’t happen in Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary Rachel Levine did the right thing. They took aggressive action to shut down businesses, keep people home and stop the spread of the virus in Pennsylvania.

The result? Fewer Pennsylvanians are dying.

“On a day when nearly every county in Pennsylvania is now in the green phase, the state reported a relatively low number of new coronavirus cases,” Ron Southwick wrote.

“Fewer people are being treated for the coronavirus in hospitals. The health department reported 677 COVID-19 patients are in hospitals, down from about 700 on Thursday. The number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals is about a quarter of the peak in the spring.”

To put it bluntly, fewer of our grandmothers and grandfathers, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers are suffering in hospitals or headed to the graveyard.

Now let’s take a look at the other places with governors who acted less decisively to save lives.

California, Texas and Florida are each reporting between 5,000 and 7,000 new cases each day. Things are so bad in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has suspended any further reopening of the state. He also has closed the bars again, as did Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. In Oregon, Nevada, Kansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina, governors are being forced to take a pause on reopening because their number of coronavirus cases is increasing.

Nationwide, almost 40,000 coronavirus cases were reported just over a week ago, surpassing the previous one-day high set on April 24, according to Johns Hopkins University.

This is bad. Real bad. To be clear, this is not just a question of more testing, this is a question of more people getting sick, heading into hospitals, where there is real fear there won’t be enough beds for them.

All of this could be happening here in Pennsylvania, had the governor and the secretary caved in to the protestors and lawmakers demanding freedom for the coronavirus to spread throughout our communities and kill more of our friends and neighbors.

In many ways, we could argue, Pennsylvania leaders haven’t gone far enough. Masks should be mandatory in public spaces and in crowds. Social distancing should be enforced in businesses, government buildings and public spaces. And there should be fines for those who insist their freedom takes precedence over someone else’s life.

We Pennsylvanians should pay close attention to what is happening in other parts of the country where people put their pocketbooks above lives. This virus kills.

It kills business owners, and it kills their customers. It even kills those young people who think they can frolic on the beach and crowd into bars, with only the old people getting hurt.

Let’s face it, Gov. Tom Wolf was right. Period.

He was right to close down the state, try to get the virus under control and then slowly start reopening. And we should thank him for doing it.

If we follow the advice of the doctors and not rush back to life as normal, we just might get back to making money again far sooner than in Texas and Florida.

Wash your hands.

Wear your masks. Stay six feet away from people in public places.

That’s the key to making money again. It’s also the key to staying alive to spend it.

— Harrisburg Patriot News / www.Pennlive.com


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