In light of historic unemployment numbers, Congressman Fred Keller again calls on Gov. Tom Wolf to re-open Pennsylvania’s economy

May 8, 2020
Press Release
Asks why Allegheny County may re-open but rural counties may not

Washington, D.C. – As unemployment climbed close to 15 percent and 1.7 million Pennsylvanians have filed for unemployment, Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) on Friday reiterated his call for Gov. Tom Wolf to safely and quickly re-open Pennsylvania’s economy, and questioned why Allegheny County was included in the Governor’s updated list of counties that may start to re-open, but rural counties like Perry, Mifflin, Juniata, Wyoming, and Susquehanna may not.


“Today’s jobs numbers hit home the clear fact that it’s time for Pennsylvania’s economy to safely and quickly re-open and get people back to work,” Congressman Keller said.


“We know the best form of stimulus is a job, not government dependence. The current unemployment trend is simply unsustainable. There is no reason to keep hardworking Pennsylvanians from supporting themselves and their families. Pennsylvanians have proven they can operate their daily lives safely while practicing social distancing. There is no reason to believe that they cannot continue to do so while getting back to work.


“The original rationale behind Gov. Tom Wolf’s shutdown order and social distancing guidelines was to slow the spread of COVID-19 to allow our healthcare system to adjust and increase capacity. Having achieved those goals, and with many health care providers re-opening non-emergent procedures, it is time to re-open our economy with businesses practicing social distancing and safety guidelines.


“Just as troubling has been Gov. Wolf’s confused and inconsistent plan for re-opening. Why is Allegheny County, home to the city of Pittsburgh, able to move to the yellow phase but rural counties like Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Wyoming, and Susquehanna are forced to remain in the red phase?


“Enough is enough. It’s time for Pennsylvanians to get back to work.”


Despite announcing that 24 counties have entered the “yellow phase” of his re-opening guidelines on Friday, Gov. Wolf’s plan to re-open Pennsylvania’s economy has lacked clear and consistent guidance.


On Thursday, after preparing for a week to re-open, the Lycoming Valley Mall was told by the Wolf administration that it would not be allowed to open its doors despite prior guidance to the contrary. In addition, the planned re-opening of Selinsgrove Speedway for spectator-less racing remains in limbo following confused guidance from the Wolf Administration.


Also of concern, all of Wyoming County remains closed despite low cases of COVID-19 and businesses ready and desiring of opening.