Pennsylvania’s Department of Health elected to sue a local company which puts on a large-scale car show in Carlisle and elected to move forward with the event, on account of the state’s COVID-19 guidelines. The yearly show, dubbed “Spring Carlisle,” asks attendees to wear masks and organizers implemented preventative measures including sanitization stations.
The event, which took place on Wednesday even in light of the state government’s suit, expects a crowd of 100,000 people. The Department of Health’s guidelines allow for crowds of up to 250 in the “green” phase of Pennsylvania’s reopening.
The suit points to the 250-person cap on events as mandated in Pennsylvania’s guidance and deems the event a “public health threat,” via a letter from Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health:
“Pursuant to guidance from the CDC and pursuant to my experience as a medical professional and the Secretary of Health, Spring Carlisle is at a high-risk of spreading COVID-19 and is a public health threat,” Dr. Levine wrote.
Though Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and the Commonwealth’s Department of Health take issue with the event, Wolf encouraged protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd.
I’m at today’s March Against Injustice and Gun Violence 2020 in Harrisburg in solidarity with our community.— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) June 3, 2020
Black lives matter. Racism must end. I am here to listen. pic.twitter.com/MoTYi7AtuW
Thousands of protesters gathered in Philadelphia just two weeks ago, with minimal preventative measures intact, but received no pushback from the state government.
Thousands of people in Philadelphia continue to protest racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd. Crowds in Center City stretched from the steps of the Art Museum and past the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. https://t.co/LlmPCHjz7Q pic.twitter.com/6YJT2DvCW7— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) June 6, 2020
Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers will sue Gov. Wolf’s administration for his reluctance to lift the state’s stay-at-home order, which, as Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R) argues, impedes on the personal freedom of Pennsylvanians:
"People need to have the freedom to return to normalcy and decide for themselves the level of engagement with society that they are comfortable doing," the high-ranking Republican said. "It is time to allow people the freedom to decide for themselves – to control their actions and decisions."
The lawsuit is pending, but the broader theme of Democrats selectively caring for public health guidelines, when politically expedient, is glaring. If the guidelines and mandates are vital for public safety, Gov. Wolf’s administration should enforce the regulations for all public gatherings that may violate them.