In Lebanon County, we saw the extreme lengths Republicans in Harrisburg including Rep. Russ Diamond, Rep. Frank Ryan, Senator Dave Arnold and his Chief of Staff Greg Moreland undertook to unsafely force the county to ignore Governor Tom Wolf’s coronavirus safety precautions. From securing the silence of Wellspan Hospital System and Cornwall Manor in the emails to abusing county resources for a political response, it was a total disregard for the public health of their constituents.
These emails also showed they undertook these efforts in several counties. PA Spotlight is making public emails between Mr. Moreland, State Representative Barb Gleim, and Cumberland County officials showing the pressure campaign Harrisburg Republicans applied to county commissioners who were following the Governor’s public health measures. The chain of email we received starts with Rep. Barb Gleim telling a Cumberland County commissioner she “disagreed with the course you are on” imploring them to disobey the Governor’s orders.
Rep. Barb Gleim started pressuring Cumberland County Commissioners on May 8th. This coincides with the timeline of the political efforts in Lebanon County to undermine the coronavirus response undertaken by the Commonwealth. The Commissioners asked Rep. Gleim for further information supporting her position that it was legal to disobey the Governor’s emergency declaration and respectfully requesting the work together on this important issue. At one point, Rep. Gleim continued pressuring the Commissioners accusing them of intentionally hurting Carlisle. She emailed, “At what point are the Commissioners going to let downtown Carlisle fail.” A commissioner responded that the comment was unhelpful.
Rep. Gleim went on to forward a sample letter to Cumberland County officials and copied the email to Reps. Sheryl Delozider, Torren Ecker, Dawn Keefer, Mark Keller, Greg Rothman and Sens. Doug Mastriano, Mike Reagan, and Judy Ward demanding they take action. In her message, she stated COVID was contained in Cumberland County. The Cumberland County Commissioners jointly responded stating, “there is no reason for this misleading statement to be delivered to our shared constituency.”
Rep. Gleim tauntingly responded to all the commissioners stating, “It seems as if you are the only ones not wanting to take this important action.” She went on to inform them their “constituents were watching it unfold on social media” highlighting the efforts undertaken by other commissioners continuing to apply pressure to the resistant commissioners.
Once again, at no point did Rep. Gleim or any of the Harrisburg Republicans on the chain point to any COVID statistics or show any regard for public health. Their sole focus was on fighting Governor Wolf’s coronavirus response for political purposes.