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Earlier this week LebTown published a letter from Mr. Gebhard titled “Letter from Chris Gebhard, State Senate Candidate, on reopening the economy in Pennsylvania [Paid Press Release].” Let’s be clear, for the voters of the 48th Senate district this election is about jobs, public health, safety, and reopening our economy.
In his letter Mr. Gebhard seems to put the blame on Governor Tom Wolf for the pandemic. And while I don’t agree with everything that was done, we have to be clear on facts. The Governor did not cause the closures, the virus closed the state. In fact the pandemic closed the majority of the world. We have only to look at what is happening now in India to understand the danger of a failure to act.
The Governor acted in concert with directives from the CDC and medical experts. Closing was needed for our safety and to safeguard public health. And according to the data, what we did is working.
What is sad is Mr. Gebhard likely knows this. He just wants to create more division and anger in an attempt to fire up his base. But will it actually help our businesses and families in need? I don’t think so. We need a plan and bipartisan cooperation to get things done in Harrisburg, not more partisan bickering.
The small County of Lebanon had one of the highest death rates per capita in the Commonwealth. And still, one party is trying to use the virus to divide us. To date 24,970 Pennsylvanians have died during the pandemic and many are left with long-term illness. Every death is heartbreaking but the death toll in other states where they didn’t have strict emergency guidance, for example Texas, were far higher than our Pennsylvania death toll. Agree or not it is clear the emergency action saved lives.
We all suffered as a result of the pandemic. Many of our working- and middle-class families will continue to suffer long after the pandemic is over. Lack of healthcare and good jobs are an ongoing problem we need to deal with.
I have a plan to do that. What does Mr. Gebhard have beyond his false narrative? Voters don’t know because he refused to be part of the League of Women Voters forum. According to one person, he didn’t even show the respect to respond after repeated emails requesting he attend.
We need to learn the lesson from the local meat packing plants and recognize that taking care of the health and safety of the production line is necessary to protect the bottom line.
Businesses should have been reviewed and closed depending on risk of exposure. Limited exposure businesses could have remained open with mandated safety protocols. Of course, high risk closed businesses should have been marked for immediate financial assistance. And that is what we now need to do.
Could the whole narrative have been different? Absolutely! Had there been civil discourse and cooperation, the seriousness of the virus would have been recognized and managed in a bipartisan manner. This is why I want to go to Harrisburg. To stop the partisan bickering Mr. Gebhard seems intent on continuing.
I never heard an alternative plan offered by the legislature to keep us safe. What would they have done differently? Again, Mr. Gebhard hasn’t articulated any plan or policy.
These are the same guys that took a free pension and allowed it to accumulate massive debt over twenty-five years. But now, suddenly they want you to believe they would have acted quickly? Well, they’ve had twenty-five years to deal with that pension problem. Why haven’t they done that?
Enough of the disinformation anti-American partisan nastiness. Let’s get to work.
Calvin Clements, DVM, CCRP is the Democratic nominee for the Special Election for Senate District 48 on May 18. Senate District 48 comprises all of Lebanon County and parts of Dauphin and York counties.