– The Pennsylvania Office of Open Records today ruled Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine cannot use the Disease Prevention and Control Act as a shield from honoring a Right-to-Know request for information on decisions they’ve made during the COVID-19 pandemic. State Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover), chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee and author of Act 77 of 2020
, issued the following statement in reaction to the announcement:
“I applaud my colleague, Lebanon County state Rep. Frank Ryan, for his persistence in pursuing the truth behind questionable decisions made by the Wolf administration during this crisis. Frank originally challenged the basis for favorable decisions made to small businesses in the City of Philadelphia, decisions that allowed barbershops, salons and spas to open under the ‘yellow phase’ of the pandemic while their contemporaries across the remainder of the state remained closed.
“In rebuking the Department of Health’s attempt to hide behind a 1955 law, the Office of Open Records agrees with Rep. Ryan and me, as well as the majority of Pennsylvanians. The enormity of this pandemic and lack of a ‘playbook’ being in place for how to deal with COVID-19 repercussions are NOT reason enough to allow government to place a veil between the way the Wolf administration conducts business and the people who have suffered under draconian statewide mandates.
“Failing to honor this request only calls into question the existence of data that was allegedly used to come to certain conclusions. The governor - and his administration - that frequently preaches openness and transparency have a duty to show their data and models. We look forward to hearing the answer.”
Representative Seth Grove
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross