Gov. Tom Wolf's 2021 agenda for Pennsylvania: Public health, economy, schools
My first priority in the new year is to protect the health and safety of Pennsylvanians. The COVID-19 pandemic has cruelly and indiscriminately affected the lives of Pennsylvanians over the past year. It brought financial insecurity along with the stark danger it poses to the public health.
I know that many families are grieving, and much has been lost over the past several months — including our ability to connect with one another, to gather together to comfort one another in the face of pain and loss. Pennsylvanians are generous, loving people, and I am always proud of how we join together to celebrate the good times and to provide comfort in bad times.
The technology available to us made reaching out and staying connected easier last year, but there is no replacement for the connections that can be made face-to-face. And that made it harder than ever to rely on one another, and to come together to share the burdens we bear. My hope for 2021 is that we are able to stop the spread of COVID-19, and make it safe to be with one another in person again.
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As governor, I take seriously my duty to protect Pennsylvanians and the public health. I will continue to put the safety of our people first, and I will do everything in my power to stop the spread of COVID-19. My hope is that this year, with all of the tools now available to us, we can truly get the COVID-19 pandemic under control — and get Pennsylvanians back to seeing the things, people, and places they miss so desperately.
I know that for many of us, 2020 seemed like a rollercoaster ride we never asked to take — one that kept delivering surprise twists and turns that made it hard to look ahead to the future. But if this year showed us one thing, it is that we can’t take the future for granted. We need to lay the groundwork now to build a stronger, more resilient economy — and to give our children the education they will need to succeed within it. As we look ahead to 2021, protecting the public health is my first priority — but I am also focused on securing our future by fostering a robust economic recovery and improving our schools.
With the advent of the COVID-19 vaccines, we can all carry hope for a brighter future with us into the new year. We now find ourselves in a rapidly evolving situation, and much is still unknown about the availability and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. It will likely still be weeks or months before the vaccines are widely available, and we don’t know how long COVID-19 will continue to be a danger to our communities.
However, the fact that these vaccines exist, and new doses are being manufactured every day, should give us all a bit of hope — and a reason to stay united in the fight against COVID-19. Every time we take steps to make our daily activities a little bit safer, we are working toward that brighter future — together.
Tom Wolf is the governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.