HARRISBURG (KDKA/AP) - President Donald Trump weighed in on the intensifying political fight in Pennsylvania, tweeting Monday: "The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails."
The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails. The Democrats are moving slowly, all over the USA, for political purposes. They would wait until November 3rd if it were up to them. Don't play politics. Be safe, move quickly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2020
President Trump also accused Democrats across the country of moving slowly and playing politics.
At his news conference Monday morning, Wolf was asked about the tweet. He replied by saying the state is moving in a measured manner to reopen.
"I don't know how you stay safe and move quickly. We're trying to move deliberately," Wolf said. "In Pennsylvania, I closed down the state, the commonwealth closed the state in a measured, staged manner. And we're reopening in the same measured, staged manner.
"I think that's aimed at keeping people as safe as we possibly can in these uncharted waters, and I think that's the responsible thing to do. The irresponsible thing to do is to just willy-nilly go off and pretend we can wave a magic wand and go back into business and suspend the reality of this virus that surrounds us."
- Coronavirus In Pennsylvania: Vice President Mike Pence Says Gov. Tom Wolf Has The Authority To Decide When The State Reopens
- 'Understand The Consequences': Pa. Gov. Wolf Issues Stern Warning To Businesses Defying Coronavirus Shutdown Order
- Armstrong Co. Will Not Issue Citations To Open Businesses That Gov. Tom Wolf Has Ordered To Stay Closed In The 'Yellow' Phase
- Beaver Co. Not Moving To 'Yellow' Phase, DA Says Businesses That Open In Defiance Of Gov. Wolf's Shutdown Order Won't Be Prosecuted
- Gov. Tom Wolf Announces 13 Western Pa. Counties Moving Into Coronavirus 'Yellow Phase,' Including Pittsburgh Metro Area
- Coronavirus In Greene County: District Attorney Says He Will Not Prosecute Business Owners Who Reopen In Defiance Of Gov. Wolf's Shutdown Order
- Coronavirus In Pennsylvania: 4 Southwestern Counties In The 'Red' File Lawsuit Against Gov. Wolf, Saying Business Shutdown Violates Constitutional Rights
Republican elected officials in a growing number of counties are planning to move on their own to lift some of Wolf's restrictions, including his stay-at-home orders and shutdown of businesses deemed "non-life-sustaining." The counties assert they have enough testing, equipment and hospital capacity to deal with the coronavirus.
In Western Pennsylvania, officials in Armstrong and Greene counties say they will not take action against businesses that defy the restrictions. Officials in Beaver County, which will stay in the "red" phase past this Friday, also say defiant businesses won't be prosecuted.
Gov. Tom Wolf blasted these local elected officials who plan to reopen in defiance of his shutdown orders at his Monday press conference, threatening to yank coronavirus aid and declaring they are "choosing to desert in the face of the enemy."
"To those politicians who decide to cave in to this coronavirus, they need to understand the consequences of their cowardly act," said Wolf, threatening to withhold state and federal funding to counties "that put us all at risk by operating illegally."
"The funding we have put aside for fighting this crisis will go to folks who are doing their part, and that includes our CARES Act funding, which will be used to support counties following orders to prevent the spread and medical communities who are treating patients. However, other discretionary funding won't go to counties that put us all at risk by operating illegally," Wolf said.
More information on the Coronavirus pandemic:
- CDC Coronavirus Information
- CDC Global Map of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
- Pennsylvania Department of Health Information
- Pennsylvania County-By-County Map
- Allegheny County Health Department Information
(TM and © Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
for more features.