Pa Republicans refuse to Gov. Wolf’s mask mandate; Physicians blast caucus leaders

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(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R – Centre) and House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R – Lancaster) sent a letter to Governor Tom Wolf on Thursday, rejecting his call for a statewide mask mandate in schools to protect students.

Meanwhile, children make up 15 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the state.

In response to this decision, Dr. Max Cooper, an emergency physician in southeast Pennsylvania and Co-State Lead for the Committee to Protect Health Care, released the following statement:

“After moving to take away Gov. Wolf’s emergency powers, Republican leaders are now abandoning their pandemic responsibilities when Pennsylvania’s children need them most. As a physician and father, it’s disappointing to see certain Republican legislators more intent on making a political point than protecting the health of kids, who are more vulnerable than ever to COVID-19 thanks to the rampant spread of the delta variant. Masks are a simple, effective tool that can allow students to learn in person while keeping them, educators, and their families safe, and politicizing them will only mean more disruptions to learning and more sick children.”

Dr. Max Cooper, Co-State Lead for the Committee to Protect Health Care

Dr. Meaghan Reid, an emergency physician in southeast Pennsylvania and Co-State Lead for the Committee to Protect Health Care, added:

“Senate President Pro Tempore Corman and House Speaker Bryan Cutler have made it clear they don’t prioritize protecting health or lives. Physicians like me have seen what happens to people and families when they fall ill with COVID-19, and that’s why we’re so concerned about kids as more are getting infected and dangerously ill. To see legislative leaders so at odds with Gov. Wolf that they’d reject his calls for action to protect kids is tragic.”

Dr. Meaghan Reid, Co-State Lead for the Committee to Protect Health Care

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