Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, blasted Democrat-led states for “absurd” enforcement of coronavirus stay-at-home orders in a Sunday night tweet, reacting to the story of a Pennsylvania woman who was given a $200 citation for allegedly driving alone in violation of the governor’s order.
The woman, identified as 19-year-old Anita Schaffer in a story first reported by PennLive last week, was originally pulled over for a taillight violation but officers then cited her for violating a stay-at-home order from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat.
“This is absurd,” Cruz tweeted in reaction to the story. “To Dem politicians (and it seems to be only Dems doing this, eg Wolf in PA, DeBlasio in NYC, Cooper in NC), protect public safety, but WE DON’T LIVE IN A POLICE STATE. Resist authoritarianism & don’t abuse power. Driving a car alone is not a public health threat.”
The citation, obtained by Fox43, says Schaffer “failed to abide by the order of the Governor and Secretary of Health issued to control the spread of a communicable disease, requiring the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses as of 20:00 hours on March 29, 2020. To wit, defendant states that she was ‘going for a drive’ after this violation was in effect.”
Pennsylvania state Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, a Republican who represents York County, where the violation happened, told FOX43 on Friday the governor’s office needs to clarify guidance.
“This is kind of unsettling,” she told FOX43. “I’ve had people say, you know, I just want to go out on my motorcycle and go and take a ride, and ask, ‘am I allowed to do that?'”
The Washington Post reported Saturday that D.C.-area officials have said going for a “leisure” drive to get out of the house is allowed, but each state that issues a stay-at-home order does so independently, meaning there might be slight differences in what is allowed and how they are enforced state-by-state.
Fox News’ Travis Fedschun contributed to this report.