Governor Tom Wolf participated in a media call today with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Protect Our Care Coronavirus War Room Director Zac Petkanas to make the case for immediate passage of a much-needed state and local bipartisan Congressional COVID relief package.
“The situation we are in is dire,” Gov. Wolf said. “In Pennsylvania, the pandemic is far worse now than it was in the spring when we successfully took action to flatten the curve. Our hospitals are now in danger of being overwhelmed by COVID-19, a scenario that would have devastating consequences for our entire health care system if we let it come to pass.
“It’s disgraceful that right now, in the midst of the worst surge of COVID-19 that our country has seen to date, when record numbers of Americans are dying from this horrible virus, our Republican leaders seem to be incapable of providing Americans with desperately needed aid and support.”
A bipartisan Congressional group has offered a $908 billion relief package as a starting point to address the aid needed. Without any relief from Congress, millions of Americans will lose unemployment benefits and other protections at the end of the month, making this the last chance to provide relief for families and communities before Congress’s final 2020 session concludes.
The $908 billion relief package includes provisions for state, local and tribal governments, including resources for first responders, frontline workers, and direct grants to state and local entities for vaccine distribution.
“We need a comprehensive relief package right now,” Gov. Wolf said. “We need an aid package that provides support for state and local governments, for businesses, and for the American people. People in my state are suffering right now due to a lack of federal assistance, and things will only get worse if the federal government refuses to act.”
“Mitch McConnell is single handedly holding hostage the relief American families desperately need,” said Zac Petkanas, Director of Protect Our Care’s Coronavirus War Room. “The state and local aid he is sabotaging this bill over is actually funding for first-responders and frontline workers, vaccine distribution, and resources that will keep people safe. As always, Mitch McConnell is putting a perceived political win over the health and safety of the American people and it’s our communities that are suffering the consequences.”
“Keeping yourself and your family safe during a pandemic without a home, a job, or unemployment assistance is nearly impossible,” Gov. Wolf said. “Our federal government needs to make it easier – not harder – for people to follow safety precautions because without additional aid for Pennsylvanians – and extended deadlines for eviction moratoriums and unemployment assistance programs – we will likely see the pandemic get even worse in the coming weeks.”