Wolf notified the public of his diagnosis on Wednesday, explaining that the positive result had come up during a “routine test” the previous day. The 72-year-old Democrat added that he has “no symptoms” and is isolating in his home with his wife, “following CDC and Department of Health guidelines.”
The governor took the opportunity to scold his constituents about following the ever-shifting array of behavioral rules imposed on the back of the pandemic, even while admitting his own positive test came after “following all precautions.”
“I ask all Pennsylvanians to wear a mask, stay home as much as possible, socially distance yourself from those not in your household, and…stay safe,” Wolf’s statement read.
The governor had warned earlier this week that Pennsylvania is nearing capacity on hospital beds. The state Department of Health announced there had been 7,000 new cases as of Tuesday. Some 11,762 people have died with the virus statewide since the pandemic began.
Wolf is expected to pile even more restrictions upon Pennsylvanians in the near future, though the details had not been made public as of Wednesday. State lawmakers are concerned that shutting down restaurants again will serve as a “crushing blow” to the industry, and Republican House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff urged the governor earlier this week not to “cancel Christmas” or “use [his] executive order pen to devastate lives and livelihoods,” arguing that all the unilateral dictates in the world will not create a sense of personal responsibility in people who had none.
While it’s not clear what kind of test Wolf took, the integrity of the ‘gold standard’ PCR test commonly used to diagnose Covid-19 has been called into question. Eurosurveillance, the journal that published the paper on which the PCR testing method for the novel coronavirus is based, is apparently considering retracting the paper. A court in Portugal last month found the test not fit for purpose, a ruling that went largely unremarked-upon in the mainstream press.
Pennsylvania is one of several states that has come under scrutiny for a disastrous policy forcing elder care homes to admit patients likely infected with Covid-19. Over two-thirds of pandemic deaths in the state took place in nursing homes, and Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine – the official behind the policy – made a point of removing her own mother from one such facility. The state attorney general reportedly opened an investigation into some of the worst-hit care homes in May.
Wolf is the sixth US governor to receive a positive test result for Covid-19. Virginia, Nevada, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Colorado’s state leaders have all tested positive, while Ohio Governor Mike DeWine tested negative just a few hours after testing positive.
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