State & local leaders preview Trump & Pence’s Erie, Luzerne & Westmoreland Co. rallies

PENNSYLVANIA — Earlier today, ahead of President Trump and Vice President Pence’s rallies in Erie, Luzerne and Westmoreland counties, PA Dems Chair Nancy Patton Mills, Senator John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe), Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli and Ben Tielle, a Luzerne County resident with pre-existing conditions, held a virtual press conference to discuss how the Trump administration’s economic policies, COVID-19 response, and attacks on health care have left working families across Pennsylvania behind.

A recording of the virtual press conference can be found here, and an audio clip is available here. Check out some of the highlights below: 

Nancy Patton Mills, Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chair:

Tomorrow, we can put an end to this chaos with a vote for Joe Biden and Democrats down the ballot. Joe has a plan to put an end to the pandemic. He has a plan to empower and uplift workers who’ve been left behind. And he has a plan to build upon the Affordable Care Act to make sure our families have quality, affordable health care. But we can’t leave anything to chance. That’s why I’ll remind you once again: tomorrow is election day and you must make your voice heard. If you haven’t identified your polling place or made your plan to vote, please visit IWillVote.com/pa immediately to make sure you’re all set for tomorrow.”

Senator John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe), PA State Senate:

“The working people of Pennsylvania deserve better. I think it’s widely known by everyone here that blue collar workers — folks working at minimum wage and particularly women — have been disproportionately adversely affected through the pandemic. Folks that were basically making minimum wage and relying on tips to pay for childcare or car loans or rent. These are the folks that have been hit the hardest and have been left behind — again — by the failure of a strategic and scientifically driven response at the federal level.

Vice President Biden has been going around the country, identifying his plans for the future to build back better. And him and Kamala Harris will make the United States once again, a proud player on the world stage…[Biden] has a plan to get us out from underneath the weight of this virus. And without getting out away from the virus, if we don’t attack it properly, and get it into control, we can’t start resolving the economic calamity that it has caused. So first deal with the pandemic and then let’s grow our economy — that can be achieved under Vice President Biden.” 

Commissioner Gina Cerilli, Westmoreland County:

“The task of rebuilding [our nation] is huge – but Joe Biden knows it’s also a tremendous opportunity. We can’t just build back the way things were. We have to build back better, for the future generations and for our children. Joe’s plan to build back better will create millions of good-paying jobs, strengthen and enforce the largest Buy American initiative that this nation has ever seen, and support union jobs so our community members can be protected and have dignity while putting food on the table for their families.

Everything is on the line in this election, and we need to mask up and get out the vote. Pennsylvanians can very well decide the next President of the United States. And as Pennsylvanians, we have to lead the way for all Americans and elect Joe Biden as our next president.”

Ben Tielle, Luzerne county resident with pre-existing conditions:

“When I was 20 years old, I was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes — and for 33 years now I’ve lived with diabetes and high blood pressure. When I was 49 years old, I had a heart attack and required open heart surgery…And to make a long story short, I now have six stents in my heart. After I had the open heart surgery, my kidneys started to fail. And now I’m end stage renal failure…. It is very scary for me to think that we have a president who is working to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Donald Trump does not have a plan to help those of us with pre existing conditions. He’s working very hard, along with other Republicans, to dismantle the Affordable Care Act — to get rid of it and leave us with nothing. I’m urging everybody to please support Joe Biden, Joe Biden really has a plan, he’s going to build on the Affordable Care Act, he’s going to expand protections. And he’s going to make sure that all people with pre-existing conditions will be protected.”

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