– State Rep. Jim Rigby (R-Johnstown) won’t deny the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our communities. Wednesday’s decision by Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine to deny the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team access to PNC Field in Pittsburgh, however, makes no sense.
“I get the secretary wanting us to stay calm, stay home and stay safe but this decision makes no sense at all,” Rigby said. “Refusing to allow a team from Canada, which has flattened its epidemic ‘curve,’ to come to Pennsylvania while allowing others from various parts of our country is beyond absurd.”
Last week, Canada denied the Blue Jays’ request to play in Toronto because the regular-season schedule would require frequent travel back and forth from the United States. On Wednesday, Levine led the state’s opposition to allow the team to play its home games in Pittsburgh, citing a risk to residents, visitors and members of both teams.
“Is Dr. Levine going to ban the Miami Marlins, a team from the COVID-19 ‘hotbed’ of Florida, from playing in Philadelphia tomorrow (Friday)?” stated Rigby. “Will the Phillies be required to quarantine when they return from spending three days in Miami early next month?
“This is another instance of government not being willing to trust the people it serves with making their own decisions,” Rigby added. “The Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization and the City of Pittsburgh collaborated to put together a plan and state government officials wanted no part of it. If nothing else, this would have been a goodwill gesture between two neighboring countries in a time when cooperation is at a premium. Instead, it’s a missed opportunity.”
Questions about this or any state government issue should be directed to Rigby’s district office at 814-536-9818.
Representative Jim Rigby
71st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott B. Little
717.260.6137 (office), 717.497.5967 (cell)