LETTERS

Letter: Pa. GOP's attempt to rein in governor's emergency powers is a dangerous Trojan horse. Don't buy it.

Erie Times-News
This is a May 29 file photo of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.

I am writing in response to the column from state Sen. Judy Ward published on March 25, urging voters to restrict the governor's emergency powers. I would like to say my take on the matter of governor's emergency powers in rebuttal to hers.

Sen. Ward, R-Blair County, implies that an official, the governor, who was elected to do the job by votes from the entire state needs to be usurped by those who come from gerrymandered districts. I adamantly disagree. The 2020 pandemic is a once-in-a-century problem, hopefully, that was mishandled at the highest level of the Republican-led federal government with which she is affiliated by party.

State Sen. Judy Ward, R-Blair, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton and Huntingdon counties.

More:May ballot gives you the chance to limit governor's emergency powers

While many things could have been handled better, the total lockdown should have been for nearer to six weeks across the entire country, which did not happen. My reasoning with hindsight is that most people don’t realize they are infected until two to 10 days after infection, so if someone on their 10th day of sickness infects another person, there is at least another 10 days of liability. The ad hoc closing across states allowed the virus to spread across porous borders like waste dumped into a body of water.

The federal government then began pressuring governors to open everything up too soon, as did our Republican-led state Legislature and unfortunately, many states did open too soon. My proof is the current problem with the latest lifting of safeguards in many states. There has been a sudden uptick in those infected, even with vaccines being delivered.

Ward contends that our hospitals did not reach the breaking point — which I attribute to the governor's actions. If we followed the wishes of the Legislature, Pennsylvania hospitals would have been overflowing and the death count would have been much higher.

So the last thing we need during an emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic is a politicized state Legislature wanting to remove safeguards and letting people become sick and die like our federal government did. Ward's only real concern appears to be profits before people, as it seems many of her party feel they have the right to infect others by not taking the proper precautions to prevent or at least minimize the spread of the disease.

These proposed amendments to the Pennsylvania's Constitution are an insult to anyone with the ability to reason what they are after. The first proposed amendment change starts off and is titled like it is about civil rights. This is their attempt to disguise what they are truly after — to hamstring the governor’s office and nothing more.

I say vote no to these Trojan horses of legislation.

James Carpenter, Erie