Official Took Taxpayer-Funded Vacation During COVID-19 Lockdowns

Democrat Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman took a security team funded by state taxpayers on a family vacation to the beach during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. His luxury trip came at the same time that he was advocating strict lockdowns for ordinary citizens.

Fetterman is currently running this year for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat being vacated as a result of the retirement of Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA).

Records recently obtained by the Washington Free Press show that the state spent $3,500 on state police overtime, food, and lodging in addition to regular salaries as part of Fetterman’s Jersey Shore trip. He took his family to Ocean City, New Jersey, in June 2020.

COVID-19 cases were surging in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey at the time of Fetterman’s vacation. The Pennsylvania Department of Health had issued at the time a warning against all nonessential travel.

The New Jersey governor had also publicly threatened to impose harsh sanctions against Jersey Shore partiers because of a sharp spike in cases just two days before Fetterman arrived.

In March 2020, Fetterman publicly vowed that he and his family would “stay at home” in order to minimize any trips to indoor public spaces and reduce social interactions. He sharply criticized anti-lockdown protesters at the time and blamed “renegade counties” in Pennsylvania for outbreaks early in the pandemic.

Fetterman described school closures as an “absolute necessity” in the fight against COVID-19 at the time, despite admitting learning and behavioral setbacks for children.

Fetterman Senate campaign spokesman Joe Calvello acknowledged that the candidate took the vacation after the records were revealed. He offered the excuse that the county where Fetterman lived was not “in lockdown” at the time he went on the publicly funded beach trip.

In a further effort to soften the blow, Calvello said that Fetterman never sought reimbursement for his personal vacation travel expenses and has “cut spending on travel, food, conferences, and office supplies during his first two years in office.” He said Fetterman does take “modest summer vacations like many folks in Pennsylvania.”

The Free Beacon reported that a study found that 88% of Pennsylvanians canceled their vacation plans in 2020 as a direct result of the pandemic and government policies.

The Fetterman family vacationed again in Ocean City in June as Fetterman was recovering from a serious stroke that had restricted his campaigning since mid-May.

Fetterman is set to take on Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz in November’s general election. The latest modeling by FiveThirtyEight shows the race is currently a toss-up, assigning Fetterman a 51% chance of winning and Oz 49%.