HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS/AP) — A day before a rally scheduled in southcentral Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday accused President Donald Trump of blatantly disregarding social distancing and masking requirements during his frequent campaign rallies in the battleground state, calling it dangerous and disappointing. Wolf, a Democrat, in a strongly worded statement, criticized Trump and asked the Republican president to ensure Saturday’s rally abides by guidance designed to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
“It is gravely concerning that the president would insist on holding this event with blatant disregard for social distancing and masking requirements. 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. No matter what party you support, all Americans should be very concerned that the president has put headlines and publicity above the health and safety of our families and communities,” Wolf said in a statement.
While Wolf’s masking order still stands, a federal judge last week ruled that Wolf’s pandemic restrictions, including size limits on gatherings, are unconstitutional. Wolf is appealing it.
Still, Wolf said two of the president’s rallies earlier this month in Pennsylvania violated the state’s public health guidance. One was before the judge’s ruling, and one last Tuesday came after it.
Wolf has said that earlier efforts to contact the White House about the matter have gone unanswered.
“Once again, I am requesting that the President of the United States not endanger Pennsylvanians by holding unsafe rallies that will put Pennsylvania communities at risk,” Wolf said.
Saturday’s rally is scheduled for a hangar at Harrisburg International Airport.
Pennsylvania’s seven-day average of the percentage of positive coronavirus tests, new cases and coronavirus-related deaths have all risen in September over August, according to the COVID Tracking Project, but they remain well below spikes seen in the spring.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)