Philadelphia – May 6, 2020 – State Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) released the following statement after the Senate Health and Human Services Committee concluded its hearing today on plans to reopen Pennsylvania for business now mid the COVID-19 pandemic:

“As a result of the pandemic, neighbors and friends and others who own or manage companies face the prospect of deciding whether they can stay in business or close their doors for good.   They face difficult and challenging decisions.  That is tragic. 

“However, for many citizens the decision to open business now — when we have not controlled the disease, stopped its spread, have a vaccine, treatment or adequate testing protocols to protect us– will be a death sentence.  As a result, too many of our citizens, their families and our friends will perish because we did not abide by health guidelines, be patient and slowly reopen.  That is an even greater tragedy.  There is no recovery, Plan B, or reopening for those who die because we were in a hurry to get back to “normal”. 

“Our misguided President has no plan and has provided no leadership.  Governor Tom Wolf and Dr. Rachel Levine have filled the gaping national leadership void and set forth a three-stage reopen plan to deal with the health emergency.  

“COVID-19 has cut an uneven path through the state.  Our focus should go beyond which counties are next to reopen in this emergency.  We also need to know what’s next for the people in our counties.  Let’s start with masks and gloves for all; low paid frontline workers get a well-deserved raise; more tests, more follow up and greater containment.   Let’s stay committed and stay healthy.”