PA Governor Tom Wolf’s Office Addresses Viral Video Where State Rep Talks About Masks and Political Theatre

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Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf and state representative Wendy Ullman were caught on a hot mic having the following exchange about masks:

The dialogue was as follows:

Governor Wolf: So Wendy, I’m gonna take my mask off when I speak so …

Representative Ullman: I will as well, just, I’m waiting so we can do a little political theatre.

As you might suspect, this video is making the rounds in Republican circles — Eric Trump tweeted about it, for example — as a sign that the governor and representative are using the idea of wearing masks as a prop.

The Bucks County Courier Times covered the story; Representative Ullman did not respond to their request for comment. Governor Wolf’s press secretary Lyndsay Kensinger wrote the following email in which she denied their political opponents’ premise: “This is an out of context clip being pushed by an extreme fringe that believes COVID-19 is a hoax … Unlike many of her colleagues on the other side of the aisle, (Ullman) leads by example to protect others by wearing a mask, and her constituents are fortunate to have her protecting them in Harrisburg.”

Not that you asked, but here’s my take on masks: We should wear them in places where social distancing is not possible, and in places like supermarkets that are essential for everyone in the population to go to. Many people who are at-risk can’t just stop going to buy groceries. We should also have to wear them in bars and restaurants and other businesses while communicating with the workers there.

On the flip side, I think that if you’re walking outside and you can be more than six feet away from people you shouldn’t need to wear it. I do think there is a point to be made that people are wearing masks on TV in part due to political theatre, as there are many times in sports and news where you see a correspondent wearing a mask when there is no one else in the vicinity.


Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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  1. I have no problem with your opinion. Everyone can have one. The problem is having laws about masks, especially when the science is not settled. We are 6 months into this emergency and we can’t safely say that masks are beneficial. There are still scientific debates going on about how Covid most easily spreads. The mask laws are only based on opinion, supposition or speculation with no solid basis in fact.

  2. Have small business and Live in PA, unfortunately, where Wolf and his dictums are damaging life, everyday life, everyday business. Also unfortunately have Dem control of state Supreme Court and it backs Wolf

  3. Like Richard above, lifelong PA resident and small business owner who somehow escaped the Wolf riptide that swallowed many. I think of Pennsylvania as the greatest state in the country. Rugged, cut your own trail, hardworking and above all else God fearing and decent. Can’t overcome Philly and Pitt to a lesser extent when it comes to statewide elections. Just sad.

    • Amen, Penglennn…live in NW PA, easy access to I 79 and I 80, able to enjoy diverse state, though avoid Pittsburgh and Erie now as much as possible. Loved 10 days near Kinzua in north central PA back in late July, almost heaven as very little Covid, even less concern plus perfect weather…

  4. Sorry Ryan, but masks are not effective. How do I know this? Because every time I wear one my glasses fog up as my exhaled breath is forced out through the seam below my eyes. The same is happening at the other three seams. I also know this because I spent years working in laboratories and chemical plants where real PPE is necessary; i.e. partial and full face respirators. Masks are nothing but COVID kabuki theatre.

  5. I have no problem with anyone who wants to wear a mask. I also have no problem with people who choose not to wear a mask. Personally, I feel a little off inside every time I put one on my face and every time I make my children do it. (They have to wear one all day long at school except for recess, lunch, and outdoor gym. Incidentally, I’ve never had any teacher/parent email exchanges about my kids until this year, and wouldn’t you know, it’s wasn’t about attitude, behavior, classwork, homework, or knowledge issues–it was all about masks.)
    Masks are not normal or natural to me, and I am not “used to” it, even though we’re 2 months into our state mandate. And, after some research, I figured out that our state had more deaths in the month after the mandate than the month before the mandate.
    I can’t take much more of the bull. This is America–live and let live. Mask up or not, but let us choose…land of the free and home of the brave.

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