x
Breaking News
More () »

WPMT FOX43 | News in Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Lebanon News, Weather, Sports

Protestors call for Governor Wolf to reopen the entire state at second Reopen PA rally

Protestors do not support the governor's phased reopening plan. They are pushing for the entire state to be 'green.'

HARRISBURG, Pa. — More than 1,000 people descended upon the Pennsylvania State Capitol for a second Reopen PA rally. 

"This is ridiculous," said Bridget Nowak, a hair stylist from the Pittsburgh-area. "Enough is enough it's time to move forward."

Nowak has been out of work for two months, and is urging the Governor to allow businesses across the state to reopen.  

"I don't want to get emotional but we have had enough," said Nowak. "We want to support our families and enough is enough."

This is the second Reopen PA rally to be held. Protestors are not happy with how Governor Wolf has handled the state's COVID-19 response.

RELATED: Protesters hold Stand Up to End the Shutdown at State Capitol

"We are individuals of Pennsylvania who want to be able to live our lives," said Matt Bellis, Reopen PA organizer. "But, the governor has forced our hand to come out here and let him know we're not going to be dictated to."

Bellis says, he wants Governor Wolf to "give up control" and let officials on the local level decide what is best for their communities.

"We need to get back to a measured approach that allows us to live our lives again," said Bellis. "COVID is real and we can deal with it and we can manage it. Our hospital systems have the capability." 

While FOX43 did not see any counter-protestors at the rally, a nurse from Service Employee's International Union (SEIU) tells us, she supports Governor Wolf's plan guided by science and medical experts:

"Nurses and other caregivers have put our lives on the line daily to combat this deadly pandemic. For us it is more than a job, it is a moral and ethical duty, and we are committed to protecting the health of not only our patients but everyone in our community. We have never faced anything like this - We are exhausted and often frightened, but we have made an oath to care for others and we intend to honor it.

Too many people have died from COVID-19 and it doesn’t have to be this way. The vast majority of Pennsylvanians want a safe recovery guided by science and medical experts as Governor Wolf has outlined. The small percentage of people who choose to recklessly protest while ignoring social distancing guidelines and basic safety precautions put everyone at risk. This virus is real and it is deadly.

Nurses and healthcare workers across the state know what is needed to safely move forward to flatten the curve, save lives, and make sure this never happens again. We need:

  • Permanent Preparedness for Healthcare Crises: Stockpiled personal protective equipment and widespread, rapid, accurate testing and contact tracing.
  • Essential Benefits for Essential Workers: Paid sick time and essential worker pay.
  • A Healthcare System Driven by Care, Not Profit: Safe patient limits for hospitals and nursing homes and fair funding for home care.
  • A Strong and Respected Voice for Frontline Staff: Caregivers need a seat at every table where healthcare decisions are being made.”