Politicians running for office this fall are discovering just how unpopular the pandemic lockdowns were. All over the country, they are scrambling to distance themselves for what they called “essential measures” less than two years ago.
For flipping and flopping, no one can top Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania governor and the state’s current attorney general.
Back in 2020, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf closed a third of Pennsylvania companies – those labeled “non-life-sustaining” – due to COVID, and Shapiro was right there urging people to turn miscreants in.
“See a #COVID19 well being and protection violation? File it!” Shapiro tweeted.
He also marched into court repeatedly to defend Wolf’s mandates and shutdowns. He said that a ruling by a federal judge to block the closure of businesses and all but small gatherings “will undoubtedly cost lives.”
Now, as he tells it, he was privately against all of the mandates all along.
“This is an area where I think folks got it wrong,” Shapiro told the AP in discussing school and business shutdowns. Which folks he thinks got it all wrong he refuses to say. He says he also opposed mask and vaccine mandates in PA.
He says: “We need to take educate, empower and respect people’s personal decisions and respect their personal freedom to make those choices,” Shapiro said.
Cynics say Shapiro’s change of heart has a lot to do with the fact that Governor Wolf’s mandates were so unpopular that voters rejected them thoroughly.
We at the HOTLINE always welcome converts, but Shapiro’s about-face strikes us as worthy of comment. He had a seat at the cabinet table when Wolf and other Democrats drafted the draconian lockdowns and there is no evidence he complained even privately at the time.