It is hard for Americans to understand why, in the midst of an international pandemic, our elected officials still don’t have their priorities in order. First on their list: playing political football. Second: blaming somebody else. This morning on Fox and Friends, Congressman Dan Meuser did both of these things. Where’s “represent the people?” We need better leadership than this.

People’s “freedoms” are not being taken away from them. There is no “us” and “them” in Pennsylvania’s 9th district, but rather only we who have chosen (voluntarily) to stay at home and to save lives. It is really that simple. The inconvenient truth is that in our District, we still do not have enough tests for all those who have symptoms and should be tested–I know this first-hand as a medical provider. Without adequate and accurate testing, we have no idea how prevalent this virus is.

It appears that Health Secretary Levine and Governor Wolf want certain sectors of our Pennsylvania society to return to work in the near future, albeit to an entirely different workplace. Everyone will have to wear a mask, and we will have to practice social distancing to, from, and at work. Returning to work must be driven not by pent up emotion and partisan politics, but by science and data that shows we know what the conditions are in our state, and that our hospital teams could handle the slight surge in new cases that will occur when we reopen our workplaces.

For Congressman Meuser to state that “businesses do not have a say in this matter or a seat at the table” flies in the face of what “representative” government is all about. He is our eyes and ears at the table. Congressman Meuser needs to support the people in Congress that are trying to make certain that our rural hospitals (of which there are many in the 9th District), our school districts, and our small businesses all get the funds they need to continue their work and keep our economy from crashing with this next piece of legislation.

It is neither productive nor in the best interest of America to blame another party for “holding up the process” when the intent is to work together to find the best possible solution to this massive problem. Congressman Meuser should stop Monday-morning quarterbacking, and work on behalf of all of his constituents for a change.