HARRISBURG — Marc Stier, director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, released the following statement on Governor Wolf’s most recent COVID-19 restrictions.
Governor Wolf has called for new action to protect Pennsylvanians from the COVID-19 pandemic. All of us, no matter where we live in our state, what we look like, or whether are rich or poor, are vulnerable to this terrible virus and the damage it does to our health, lives, and economy. And make no mistake, it is the disease itself, far more than regulations to protect our health, that is causing economic distress especially for working people, women, Black and brown people, and immigrants.
So we should all welcome the governor’s actions and reject attempts to divide us by approaching necessary measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 as an ideological or partisan issue. But protecting our health is not enough. We also need to provide help to those who are suffering the most during the pandemic, and at this point neither the U.S. Congress nor the PA General Assembly have provided the level of help needed by small businesses, front-line workers, the unemployed, and those whose access to food, housing, and health care is threatened.
We need another federal COVID-19 relief program enacted as soon as possible. And even if the federal government acts, our state could also provide additional help either by raising taxes on the rich and the wealthy, or borrowing money at historically low interest rates—which PA Senate Democrats recently proposed.