The Lehigh Valley's representative to Congress says Wednesday's chaos at the U.S. Capitol was a blur. Democrat Susan Wild tells the Morning Call it was the scariest time of her life. Wild says she was one of the last people to be evacuated from the House chamber but adds she lost track of time and can't say if it took five minutes or 30. Chrissy Houlahan represents most of Chester County and some of Berks County and she describes what she saw and heard before rioters overtook the Capitol. "I passed by the protesters and heard a lot of what sounded like shots but what I also understand might have been a crowd dispersement tactic, which was also quite alarming," Houlahan says. She says the violence at the Capitol was the antithesis of who we are as a country.
On the same day Congress met to count Electoral College votes, Gov. Tom Wolf took the opportunity to tell voters, once again, that Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes were earned fair and square by Joe Biden. "The Trump campaign has lost more than 60 court cases because there is, simply, no evidence, no evidence, that fraud occured during the election or while these votes were being counted," Wolf said. Wolf calls efforts by Republicans in Congress, including eight from Pennsylvania, to overturn the election, destructive, disgraceful and an outrageous, shameful lie.
Gov. Tom Wolf is condemning the violence seen on Capitol Hill. The governor called the rioting a coup and said it was a result of a disinformation campaign led by President Trump and Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania. He says he's disgusted by the rioting but promises to continue to fight to make the country's democracy stronger.
Pennsylvania's state Capitol building is closed today with all employees told to work from home. The announcement came amid the fallout of the chaos seen at the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday afternoon. Capitol staff were told not to come to the building today for any reason.
New Jersey State Police is sending 50 troopers down to Washinigton DC. Gov. Phil Murphy says it comes at the request of DC officials in an effort to protect a peaceful transfer of power and protect our democracy. Murphy says the state is also prepared to deploy members of the National Guard.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is reflecting on Wednesday's storming of the U.S. Capitol. He calls it one of the darkest days in American history. He called on President Trump to condemn what he's calling an attempted coup.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health Wednesday confirmed 9,474 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 683,389. There were 368 new deaths reported as well. The same report indicates through Tuesday, 159,216 doses of the vaccine have been administered.
Pennsylvania State Police troopers and motor carrier enforcement officers have been instructed to distribute updated COVID-19 information to travelers they encounter on patrol State Police says they will not proactively stop travelers to give them the information. The sheets will instead be distributed during traffic stops, commercial vehicle inspections, crash investigations, responses to disabled vehicles, and other encounters.
Even though COVID-19 vaccines are beginning to make their way into Pennsylvania, state officials are still urging everyone to follow the safety steps they were preaching throughout 2020. "The virus remains a very threat and one we must take seriously by following mitigation orders and continuing to test. Even those individuals with a positive sample and no symptoms will require at least ten days of isolation from the day the sample was taken," says Michael Huff who is the Director of Tracking and Tracing in Pennsylvania.
Firefighters and police officers across New Jersey are eligible to get the coronavirus vaccine starting today. It comes as the state looks for volunteers who can help administer the shot, like retired health care professionals who have vaccination skills. Meantime, the state is gearing up to open additional immunization sites Friday.
Hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans are getting in line to receive the coronavirus vaccine. According to Gov. Phil Murphy more than 450,000 residents signed up to get vaccinated on Tuesday. That's the day New Jersey's registration portal opened. The governor says the number of people signing up gives us great optimism, hoping to rollout a robust vaccination program to the general public by Memorial Day.
Bethlehem City Councilman William Reynolds is going to run for mayor. Reynolds says Bethlehem has always been a wonderful place to live, but it is time for the city to become even more. As mayor, he says he would boost private economic investment, prioritize neighborhood revitalization and sustainability. He also intends on implementing the city's climate action plan, as well as build a fair and equitable city.
New Jersey is working to close the digital divide for students across the state, which became apparent during the coronavirus pandemic. Over the summer more than 231,000 kids didn't have access to a device, WiFi, or both, hindering their abilities to learn remotely. Current numbers show just under 9000 students are still struggling with a connectivity issue. A majority of them, roughly 7000, don't have access to a device.