ALLENTOWN, Pa. (KDKA) — President Donald Trump made a stop in Pennsylvania to tour a medical equipment distributor in Allentown.
He said it was time for states to get back to business and called on Governor Tom Wolf to fully reopen Pennsylvania.
“You have to get the governor of Pennsylvania to start opening up a little bit. You have areas of Pennsylvania that are barely affected. You can’t do that,” President Trump said before employees at Owens & Minor in the Leigh Valley on Thursday.
The reaction to his message from lawmakers was mixed in a state divided by statistics, fear and economic challenges.
“I don’t think the governor needs to take any advice from this president,” Democratic Congressman Mike Doyle told KDKA.
Doyle feels Gov. Wolf’s phased reopening is the wise approach.
“Listen to what the experts are saying, the medical experts, the scientists, the CDC,” Congressman Doyle said.
Congressman Guy Reschenthaler wants the state to reopen now.
“We tried to have this one-size-fits-all approach, and we really got the worst of both worlds,” said Reschenthaler, a Republican.
Reschenthaler says the most vulnerable, like those in nursing homes, were the least protected and so were those who could least afford to lose paychecks.
“The curve has been flattened. Now that it’s flattened and now that we know our hospitals are not going to get overwhelmed, we should protect our most vulnerable and open up for business. These zones are nothing more than the action of a petty tyrant,” Reschenthaler told KDKA News.
President Trump’s visit to Pennsylvania is part of a broader push to reopen the country and help a struggling economy.
Congressman Doyle said President Trump “just seems to be more concerned with getting the stores opened than he is with the safety of the public.”
“Small business owners are on the verge of going bankrupt. Some of them cannot put food on the table,” Reschenthaler said.
Pennsylvania has the largest number of unemployment claims in the country.
Two state House bills are now before the governor to expedite the reopening of businesses not included in the “yellow” phase.
Meanwhile, the House votes on Friday on the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill.