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Coronavirus on Smart Talk Friday: Former Gov. Ridge takes on protesters, how virus gained a foot hold in Pa’s nursing homes, and voting by mail

  • Scott LaMar
Tom Ridge, former secretary of Homeland Security and former Pennsylvania governor,  speaks at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008.  (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Tom Ridge, former secretary of Homeland Security and former Pennsylvania governor, speaks at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Former Pennsylvania Governor and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge is speaking out about the nationwide protests against stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns. Ridge is especially critical of those who attended the rallies armed with semi-automatic rifles and other firearms — many who called themselves patriots.

The former governor authored an opinion column on the protests for USAToday this week that garnered a lot of attention and response.

Gov. Ridge appears on Smart Talk Friday to discuss his thoughts on protesters.

Kate Landis / PA Post

Hundreds gathered outside the Pennsylvania capitol on Monday, April 20, 2020, to urge the lifting of restrictions ordered by Gov. Tom Wolf to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have been hit hard by COVID-19. Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states where over half of the COVID-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. Nationally, the figure is a little over one-in-four deaths.

Lack of widespread testing for the coronavirus has been one of main culprits, according to the facilities, but many say they also are not getting protective equipment.

Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) President and CEO Zachary Shamberg joins us on Smart Talk Friday to describe how nursing homes are the front lines of the coronavirus battle.

Pennsylvania’s primary election has been pushed back to June 2 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The question for many is whether voters can safely cast ballots in person.

Democratic State Senator Wayne Fontana of Allegheny County introduced a bill that would change Pennsylvania’s voting system so that all elections are conducted entirely by mail. Sen. Fontana is on Friday’s Smart Talk.

 

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