Schlossberg responds to latest coronavirus mitigation efforts

HARRISBURG, Dec. 10 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s latest mitigation efforts to control the spread of COVID-19:

“This is tragic. It is also necessary.

“We all need to be as clear as possible about the decisions we all make right now: There are no good decisions during a pandemic. There are just slightly less bad ones.

“Let’s take a look at the facts available through the Department of Health: only 13% of Pennsylvania’s ICU capacity is currently available.  In Lehigh County, 6 ICU beds are available. A bad traffic accident on Route 22 or a tragic gas explosion would fill those beds. We now face the real prospects of not being able to manage everyday emergencies, and we know that every trend is heading in the wrong direction. This will get worse.

“There is not a human in the commonwealth who is happy about this. I do not know anyone who wants to be where we are now. But the enemy is not Governor Wolf, Dr. Levine, or any other public official supporting these life-saving measures. The blame lies with a virus that has been raging for almost a year despite the near heroic efforts of a medical and workforce community from whom we have asked far, far too much. The blame lies with a federal government that has, to this day, failed to unveil an appropriate testing regimen and is already failing to meet its vaccine promises. It also shows the failure of national leadership who has steadfastly refused to pass restaurant aid, despite bipartisan efforts of people like Congresswoman Susan Wild who is trying to get restaurants and bars the aid they need.

“I cannot state this enough: decisions individuals make in the middle of a pandemic impact much more than one person. They will affect anyone you could infect. Pandemics are shared challenges. They require shared solutions.

“Let me close with this: For the families of more than 12,000 dead and 265,000 of people who have not yet recovered from COVID, Christmas has already been cancelled. For the millions upon millions of Pennsylvanians whose lives have been altered, who have not received hazard pay, personal protective equipment or promised CARES funding, Christmas has been cancelled. Without strong mitigation measures – measures that we know will save lives – Christmas has been cancelled. Without stronger mitigation measures, millions of families will never celebrate Christmas the same way again.”