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Responsible leadership

As the number of coronavirus deaths approaches 100,000 in the U.S., we’re being pulled in two contradictory directions.

We know we have to open our economy, which requires us to interact with others.

At the same time, we understand the urgency of keeping ourselves and those around us safe by respecting social distancing.

Much of the responsibility for finding ways to move forward through this dilemma has fallen on our state governors since presidential leadership has revealed itself, on a daily basis, to be chaotic, divisive, wrong-headed and even dangerous.

We have few maps to guide us in this difficult time. Much of the work involves setting guidelines and, as these are put in place, determining what works and what doesn’t.

This is a time when all of us need to respect and trust that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, guided by the expertise of Dr. Rachel Levine, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, is working diligently to reduce the number of coronavirus cases in our state — our numbers rank us 5th in the U.S. — while we move, slowly and carefully, toward economic resilience.

I was enormously saddened to read the tributes to 1,000 coronavirus victims that appeared on the front page of the NewYork Times on Sunday, May 24.

Many were Pennsylvanians, including Douglas Hickok, 57, “the military’s first virus casualty,” and Ella King Russell Torrey, 94, who “dedicated her life to peace, diplomacy, and human rights.”

There was no mention on this list of the victims’ politics. The virus does not care whether we are Democrats, Republicans or Libertarians.

And so I was also saddened to read that, in league with state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, our own representative Stephanie Borowicz, has co-sponsored a House Resolution (HR 836) that calls for ending our governor’s emergency disaster Covid-19 declaration.

By claiming on her Facebook page that we need to “terminate the governor’s power and authority” so we can “put power back in the hands of the people,” Rep. Borowicz is using her office to politicize this pandemic.

Fomenting an ill-defined populist uprising sows nothing but distrust and divison and becomes what could very well be a perilous distraction at a time when we need to continue our focus on the health of the larger community.

If your doctor, during a measles outbreak, advised bed rest and quarantine, would you be justified in claiming he was taking away your constitutional rights?

Would you be further justified in staging a protest by invading your capitol building, maskless and with an AK-47 strapped to your chest?

Of course not.

Let’s get on with the business of keeping our community safe and healthy.

I invite Rep. Borowicz to join the Clinton County commissioners, as well as our Lock Haven mayor and City Council, to offer caring, responsible leadership at this time when the decisions we make have life or death consequences.

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