Pennsylvania issues prohibition-style ‘order’, shuts down off-premise alcohol sales on Thanksgiving eve

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HARRISBURG, PA — As people gather on Thanksgiving to celebrate family and friends and reflect on the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Compact’s signing, it is ironic to note the tyranny, which the freedom-loving Pilgrims escaped from, has returned to our great nation in the form of draconian rules created by politicians who want to enslave a free people.

The rules are clearly meant to send a message to “We the People” that others are in control and will gladly ruin the holidays to make this point.

For example, Dr. Rachel L. Levine, the Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, announced last week that Pennsylvanians are required to wear masks inside their own homes if anyone visits their household. It is not good enough that you maintain proper social distancing.

In a Nov. 23 press release issued by Gov. Tom Wolf’s office, Levine said:

“As the Secretary of Health, I have issued a series of advisories and orders intended to help stop the spread during this critical time, to protect our hospitals, our health care workers and the lives of our fellow Pennsylvanians.

“Our collective responsibility continues to be to protect our communities, our health care workers and our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians from COVID-19. That has not changed.”

According to Levine, modeling available from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington projects that Pennsylvania will run out of intensive care beds in December and that if mitigation efforts are not adhered to, Pennsylvania could have more than 32,000 deaths from COVID-19 by February.

The press release also noted:

“With universal mask-wearing, those deaths can be reduced by half.”

“The new measures include revamped school safety attestation, targeted business and gathering restrictions, and a new enforcement plan that includes liability protection for businesses enforcing the Secretary of Health’s strengthened mask-wearing order.

“The administration is also advising all Pennsylvanians to limit unnecessary travel and keep gatherings held in homes to members of the same household.”

Regarding the newly introduced liability protection for businesses, the press release stated:

“Furthermore, to help with enforcement of existing masking orders in businesses, the administration is introducing liability protection for all businesses that maintain in person operations and are open to the public.

“Businesses will receive immunity from civil liability only as related to the Secretary’s masking order given that individuals and entities are engaged in essential emergency services activities and disaster services activities when enforcing the order.”

Restrictions on alcohol purchases go into effect the day before Thanksgiving, which is a money-making day for bars and restaurants:

“As Pennsylvania sees an increase in cases, the commonwealth is strengthening gathering restrictions. All large events and gatherings are now reduced until further notice.

“In addition, the retail food services industry, including bars, restaurants, and private catered events must end alcohol sales for on-site consumption at 5 p.m. on Nov. 25, 2020 only.”

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According to KDKA 2 CBS, Wolf acknowledged that bars and restaurants have been hit hard by the pandemic. Yet, he put the ban in place anyway, but also did not penalize other businesses that can still sell alcohol, such as liquor stores or breweries. Wolf said:

“The thing that we can’t do is ignore reality and say ‘yeah you folks, for no fault of your own, have been hit hardest by this virus.’ But the virus is what’s doing this. It’s not me. It’s not the administration. It’s not the government.”

Richard Rattner, owner of the William Penn Tavern, told KDKA 2 CBS:

“You wake up Monday morning, you got something to look forward to finally as a bar and restaurant owner and the carpet gets pulled out right from underneath you.”

Rattner questioned why state liquor stores are allowed to be open and added:

“It’s going to be a big private party night. And I don’t think people are going to stay home. Like they feel because of this order, I think they’re just going to push them into unsafe predicaments.”

Failure to comply will result in the issuing of citations, fines and regulatory actions for repeat offenders, according to the press release:

“Orders are enforceable as a disease control measure under the Disease Prevention and Control Law. Citations may be written under the Administrative Code of 1929 71 P. S. § 1409 and/or the Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955 35 P.S. § 521.20(a).

“The decision whether to issue a warning or a citation is made on a case-by-case basis and determined by the unique circumstances of each encounter.

“Persons who fail to comply with an order may be fined between $25 and $300 dollars.

“Enforcement agencies include the Pennsylvania State Police, local law enforcement, personnel from the departments of Agriculture and State, and PA Liquor Control Board stores who interact with visitors.”

The Department of Health is also “bolstering its ability to receive and respond to complaints from customers and employees” by investigating grievances via its webform and using staff from other state agencies to help process them, according to the press release.

In March, Dr. Levine was criticized for ordering long-term care facilities in the state to continue to accept coronavirus patients who had been discharged from hospitals, but were un­able to return to their homes, the Bucks County Courier Times reported.

Further controversy ensued when it was learned that Levine’s mother was moved out of a personal-care home as deaths skyrocketed. Levine reportedly told ABC 27:

“My mother requested, and my sister and I as her children complied, to move her to another location during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“My mother is 95 years old. She is very intelligent and more than competent to make her own decisions.”


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