Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf was apparently caught on a hot mic chuckling about the political theater of wearing face masks for the sake of public image.
Prior to an event to discuss health care near Philadelphia on Tuesday, Wolf could be heard saying to Democratic state Rep. Wendy Ullman, “So Wendy, I’m gonna take my mask off when I speak.”
“I will as well, just I’m waiting so that we can do a little political theater,” Ullman responded.
“OK, [sounds] good,” the governor answered back, as the two chuckled, the Bucks County Courier Times reported.
“So that it’s on camera,” Ullman added.
She then pointed to the podium microphone, apparently realizing her hot mic mistake, and walked off camera.
Pennsylvania attorney Marc Scaringi, who currently has two lawsuits filed in federal court against the Wolf administration’s COVID restrictions, described the incident as “Kabuki theater.”
“It is political theater, certainly it’s that, but it’s also a lot like Kabuki theater where it’s over-stylized, or more style than the substance,” he told The Western Journal.
“And that has been the signature of the Wolf administration’s response to the COVID pandemic,” he added.
“‘Where is the science?’ is part of a refrain that I have been using in my speeches. Well there was none,” Scaringi argued.
Wolf imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor still has a face mask mandate in effect requiring they be worn “in all public spaces” and in all workplaces.
“Businesses must provide masks for employees to wear during their time at the business, and make it a mandatory requirement while at the work site, except to the extent an employee is using break time to eat or drink,” according to the state’s Department of Health website.
The “hot spot” in the state is in Centre County, home to Penn State University.
However, the chance of adults who are under 70 years old dying from the disease is almost zero, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
For those over 70, the survival rate is as high as 95 percent.
The number of COVID deaths per day among Pennsylvania’s 12.8 million people has been mostly in the single and low double digits for months.
Nonetheless, Wolf chastised President Donald Trump ahead of a rally the Republican candidate held outdoors at the Harrisburg International Airport over the weekend.
“It is gravely concerning that the president would insist on holding this event with blatant disregard for social distancing and masking requirements,” the governor said in a statement.
“His decision to bring thousands of people together in a tight space in the midst of a global pandemic caused by an airborne virus is flat out wrong,” Wolf added.
“It is dangerous and disappointing that the president continues to ignore science and his own health advisors while putting the lives of those who support him at risk,” he said.
The governor concluded by encouraging Pennsylvanians not to attend the rally.
For the record, the rally was very well attended.
For years you had a President who apologized for America – now you have a President who is standing up for America, and standing up for Pennsylvania. So get your friends, get your family, get your neighbors & co-workers, and GET OUT & VOTE! Early voting has already begun — VOTE! pic.twitter.com/9LtXuWWCRV
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2020
“[Wolf] can say what he wants to in front of a television camera and a podium,” Scaringi contended. “He can talk about the science and everything is supported by the science. Absolutely false when he had to go in court and on the record, his people couldn’t produce any science to substantiate their orders.”
“So that’s why I call it Kabuki theater,” he said. “It’s all for the cameras.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.