Gov. Tom Wolf released the following statement in response to a press release by Republican Rep. Russ Diamond, who condemned hateful comments and intolerance toward the “unmasked community.” Many of his words appeared to be copied from Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s recent remarks about transphobic comments and harassment toward the LGBTQ community.
“Abhorrent, disrespectful, dangerous. There are no words that adequately describe my disdain for the antics Rep. Diamond displayed in his latest missive.
“Rep. Diamond’s press release is nothing more than a thinly veiled attack on the LGBTQ community and the commonwealth’s Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender woman, and a nationally respected leader in public health, whose bravery and resolve in the face of constant attacks is laudable.
“Virtually no thinking person disputes mask-wearing as an effective means to stop the spread of COVID. Proud non-mask-wearers such as Rep. Diamond are not displaying their freedom, but rather their ignorance and lack of respect for themselves, their families, neighbors and communities when they don’t wear a mask, and are likely leading to more spread of this dangerous virus.
“To equate any disrespect for those not wearing masks to the decades of disrespect, threats and violence against our LGBTQ community goes far beyond the hallmarks of a decent society. For these actions to come from a legislator elected to fairly represent all his constituents is simply unforgivable.
“I am calling on Republican House leadership to introduce a resolution to censure the representative immediately. We need the Republicans to stop spreading misinformation to the general public, and we badly need them to be more responsible and more responsive to the health and wellbeing of all Pennsylvanians. This dangerous, reckless behavior is not welcome in Pennsylvania.”