****author’s note: some of the Wolfie words are actually what he said so if they look familiar that’s why, I’m not his speech writer or anything, anyway, I’m being a little punk because I’m tired and the governor is tired and we’re all tired, enjoy
****author’s second note: if you don’t live in PA, you might not know about the Wolfman: he is a Dem in a split state, he put us on lockdown early and seriously, he’s not a particular fan of DT, and I like him, which might tell you nothing or everything idk
July 15, 2020 press conference
background murmuring and sounds of photographs being taken
Gov. Tom Wolf walks out to the podium, adjusts microphone. Gov. Wolf is wearing a non-medical mask with a plaid pattern like a jaunty Scottish clan’s tartan.
GOV. WOLF: Good afternoon, everyone. This press conference has been called to announce the two new state Orders that are being put in place today, one from the Governor’s Office, and one from the Department of Health. Dr. Rachel Levine, our Secretary of Health, is here with me today.
Dr. Levine nods to the crowd.
GOV. WOLF: During the past week, we have seen an unsettling climb in new COVID-19 cases. When we hit our peak on April 9, we had nearly two thousand new cases that day, with other days’ cases hovering around 1,000. Medical experts looking at the current trajectory are projecting that this new surge could soon eclipse the April peak. With our rapid case increases, we need to act again, now.
Gov. Wolf looks over to the back right corner of the press room, eyes narrowed
GOV. WOLF: I’m sorry, Dave, was there something you’d like to share with the rest of the class? Yeah, are you shocked I heard you? The mask goes over my mouth and nose, not my ears, but sorry, that might be too much **science** for you. Yes, Dave, we need to act again NOW. If it’s all right with you, I’m going to continue governing the Commonwealth? You’re done? Thank you EVER so much.
The governor takes a deep breath in and out
GOV. WOLF: As I was saying, in April our cases reached unacceptably high levels, and if we don’t put immediate restrictions on certain industries and behaviors, we could see infection rates surge even higher than our April peak. This is of course very frustrating to have to do so soon after we reopened the state, but the science supports our actions and these measures will hopefully save lives.
Gov. Wolf steps back from the podium, shakes out his arms, and rolls his head in a neck stretch
he then returns to the podium; the microphone picks up a mumbled “I hate this”
GOV. WOLF: Beginning tomorrow, all nightclubs must close, and bars that do not offer sit-down, dine-in meals must close. …okay, did you all seriously just go “awww man!” like a bunch of college kids getting told the rager at PhiPsi is cancelled? Shut up. Anyway. Oh, restaurants and bars must drop to 25% capacity for indoor seating as well. …yeah, no, okay, stop doing the “awww man!” thing, none of you even OWN a restaurant?! And I see, in the grand tradition of my being unable to have a moment’s peace, that we have a question already. Yes, you, with your hand up on the left, here. Go ahead.
PRESS: Governor, is outdoor dining and takeout food still permitted?
GOV. WOLF: …thank you, whoever you are. I’m sorry that I don’t know your name, but you just gave me a softball question, and you didn’t have to, and I apologize for my shortness with you. *voice cracking* Bless you, my child; may you fly like the Eagles. Hey, Kevin? *gestures to one of his staff off-camera* can we get this angel some Rita’s gift cards, after? Great.
GOV. WOLF: Oh, sorry, the answer! Yes, takeout is permitted, both of food and alcohol, and outdoor dining is permitted subject to the standards of social distancing and masks, of course. Don’t you roll your eyes at me, front row, don’t you DARE. Yeah, you still have to abide by social distancing, why would you think you don’t? I’m sorry, was the masked waitstaff; who earn below minimum wage and must rely on you to tip them appropriately for risking their lives, by the way; walking around serving you and your unmasked stupid face because you absolutely needed to eat mozzarella sticks in the 89-degree-with-95%-humidity July air and making sure your Bud Light Lime never runneth dry, somehow not enough for your extremely privileged life? Look, I also love mozzarella sticks, but your server is playing Minesweeper every time they go to work, and you can suck it up for an hour. Your Margaritaville cosplay is not a priority here.
Dr. Levine hands up a stack of paper
GOV. WOLF: Speaking of Margaritaville cosplay, Dr. Levine has just handed me the most recent nationwide numbers, and the same states you keep hearing of with soaring infection rates are still in very bad shape. Our thoughts are with the citizens of these states, and we do not want to become Florida. We don’t want to become Texas. We don’t want to become Arizona. We have got to act now. We’ve done this before, and it worked, and we can do it again.
Wolf gestures to a raised hand towards the back of the room
PRESS: Governor, why do you continue to change your position on opening and closing the state? Why are you flip-flopping? Are you trying to make it difficult for business owners to make money?
Gov. Wolf places his hand over his microphone and gestures to one of his staff
the microphone continues to pick up some of his speech
GOV. WOLF: *sotto voce* is that fucking Dave, again, asking that dumbshit question? No? oh, it’s Carol, yes, of course, the two horsepeople of the apocalypse of ignorance, fuck me
GOV. WOLF: As I said, it is certainly frustrating to have to close businesses so soon after being able to reopen them, especially for many of the counties in the southeast of the state, who were hardest hit by this disease and only recently went “green.” There are other states like us who reopened many businesses and had to close again, as a reaction to the current data. Because that data indicates a change in the current spread of the disease, and like an intelligent adult human who is in charge of anything, I am making my decisions based on the goddamn current FACTS, Carol. You know how in January, it snows sometimes, so the state closes down for safety and deploys snow plows? And then in August, there’s no snow, so the state DOESN’T close down, and there are no snow plows? Am I irresponsibly flip-flopping re: snow plows, Carol? Or am I adjusting course to utilize state resources efficiently and save lives? Jesus Christ. Here, you take the ship’s wheel for the Titanic, you clownheads. *mocking voice* ‘well, there wasn’t an iceberg there earlier, why is the captain flip-flopping on directing the ship?’ *normal voice* no, you’re right, Carol, I just absolutely hate businesses and my goal is to bankrupt my constituents.
staff member walks up to say something in Gov. Wolf’s ear
GOV. WOLF: *sigh* I have just been informed by my staff that I should indicate that my previous sentence was sarcasm, and that I do not hate businesses, and I would like my constituents to have money, because otherwise you will use that quote out of context and I’ll end up a meme.
the governor rubs his temples for approx. 15 seconds
GOV. WOLF: Now, back in the land of actual grown-ups, I want to address a few other specifics. For fitness centers and gyms, if at all possible, please prioritize outdoor fitness activities, and be vigilant about distancing. And as for private events, indoor gatherings of more than 25 are prohibited, along with outdoor gatherings of more than 250. And that 25 number applies to restaurants and other food service as well. I also need to mention, in my continuing lecture on “waitstaff are people,” that the 25-person limit includes staff, I cannot believe I just had to say that sentence, but shockingly people count as people for a 25 people limit! I know! Wild! What will our wacky governor think of next?! Okay, you right there, blue blazer, you’re looking at your phone so I regret this already, what’s your question?
PRESS: Sir, I have a question coming in from a Republican state senator: he asks, why is this new order statewide and not targeted? Why do you hate rural counties?
GOV. WOLF: *curls hands more tightly on sides of podium* This IS targeted, on INDUSTRIES, and geographically most counties are seeing an increase! Why do you think a crowded bar in north-central Pennsylvania would be less likely to be a source of infection than one in Delco? There are selfish dipshits all across the state who are traveling to Florida and holding barbecues for their six hundred closest friends and, I don’t know, holding coughing contests in Dave and Buster’s? Whatever you’re doing? Can you, y’know, stop doing that? Because it’s exactly those actions that are causing this resurgence. And it’s not like there’s some impenetrable wall surrounding each county so that the specific dipshit behavior doesn’t hop along from Schuylkill County to Dauphin County. It does, with your dipshit help. And I’m responsible for all of the counties, so let’s just all behave for a little bit and not die, please. I’m asking nicely. *pinches bridge of nose* I’m so goddamn tired, all the TIME I’m so TIRED
Dr. Levine eases Gov. Wolf away from the podium, gently pushing a large silver flask into his hand
DR LEVINE: The actions the governor and I are taking today are designed to be surgical and thus precise to prevent from repeating the cycle we saw in the spring. We have gained a great deal of experience since the start of this outbreak and have learned from best practices from other states as well as counties right here in Pennsylvania. No, it’s not fair that we have to restrict our activities again, but we have the tools and the structures in place, and if we all work together we can stop this increase in infections. Yes, you, in the green shirt? Go ahead.
PRESS: Dr. Levine, a question from Twitter from a user with the handle @libztearzPA69, they wish to know why they have to wear a mask when they go to the gym if they aren’t sick, since it gets really hot and they breathe hard?
Gov. Wolf enters abruptly from out of frame and aggressively seizes the microphone
GOV. WOLF: OH REALLY YOU BREATHE HARD WHEN YOU WORK OUT AREN’T YOU FUCKIN’ SPECIAL WE HAVE A HUNDRED AND TWELVE STATE PARKS WHERE YOU CAN FUCKIN’ TAKE TO THE WOODS AND BREATHE HARD ON A FUCKIN’ DEER OUT THERE IF IT’S SO DIFFICULT TO MAKE IT THROUGH *SHOULDERS DAY* WITH SOME *FABRIC* OVER YOUR FUCKIN’ PERFECT *FACE*
audio cuts here
three more seconds of visual show the governor pushing over the podium and taking a swig from the flask