Tell your legislator: Choose lives not money!

UPDATE: This week Republicans in the Pennsylvanian House added an amendment to SB613 that would include the proposal described below to override Governor Wolf's stay at home and business closure orders. This is an imminent threat to our health and lives.

Please read on and use this tool to take action.

All over the Commonwealth today people are dying in terrible ways—struggling for breath without the comfort of their loved ones by their side. About a hundred more people will die today and every day for perhaps another few weeks.

Together we have kept this far too high number lower than it would be by obeying Governor Wolf’s order to stay and home and keep non-essential businesses closed.

In most places in the country this is not a partisan issue. Republican Governor Mike DeWine has enforced rules as strong in Ohio.

Yet Republican members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly have demanded that their leadership call them back to overturn Governor Wolf’s order. They will vote on Tuesday on a
bill, SB613, that could lead all businesses in the Commonwealth to reopen and put our lives at risk

Please use this tool to tell your state legislator to stop and think of the lives that would be endangered by this policy and vote no.

The impact of  COVID-19 and the necessary response to it has been devasting to us all. Many of are suffering from anxiety and about our own health or that of our friends and relatives. Others are suffering severe economic distress.  

Yet we know that is right to choose lives over money  the right choice. Good economic policies—policies for which we and you  are already advocating—can protect the vulnerable right now and restart our economy when it is safe to do so.

But nothing can bring back the lives of friends and family who die due to COVID-19.

That’s why we are shocked that Republicans are proposing  an amendment that would override  Governor Wolf’s stay at home order and allow businesses re-open if they promise to follow rules that would allow them to operate without endangering their employees and the rest of us.|

Sadly, some legislators are trying to secure votes for the proposal by telling falsehoods.
  • Some are saying that the economic shutdown will itself cost lives. But the evidence we have tells us that mortality dropped during themortality dropped during the Great Depression. And even suicide tends to decline immediately in a in time of war and our fight against COVID-19 is similar.
  • Others are saying that businesses can open safely by following federal rules. But those rules are only for businesses that must stay open in the emergency. Think for a minute about the human interaction—and the surfaces that multiple people touch—in a retail store or a construction site or a factory or a warehouse or an office and it will be obvious that there is no way to protect employees or customers in those workplaces. And anyone infected in them will spread the virus everywhere else they go. In addition, the proposal contains no mechanism to enforce any safety rules and no protection for workers do not go to work because they fear for their lives.
  • Still others are saying we have a right to go to work if we want to do so. But that rights end when we doing so would endanger the lives of others.
Please tell your legislator to listen to reason and science. There will be a time when we can safely leave our homes, open our businesses and get back to work. But we are not there yet.

(You can learn more about this issue by reading our policy brief.)

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