Editor’s Note: The following remarks were delivered today by Beaver County Commissioner Jack Manning during a public meeting of the Board of Commissioners. We are publishing Manning’s statement in full as prepared by the commissioner.
“I’d like to take a few minutes to speak to the families and friends of residents and employees of Brighton Rehab. I haven’t spoken publicly about this to the press or on social media but I have responded the best I can to the dozens of emails, texts and messages from those family members to the best of my ability. I’ve answered each and every one, and I have heard their frustration, heartache and the horror of not being able to control what it happening to their loved ones. Their stories are truly heartbreaking and I share their concern and frustration.
“Today is my 99th day in office. I vowed on day one to bring my work ethic and experience to provide good governance, non-political decision making and problem solving to the Courthouse. From that first day and everyday since then, I have shown up bright and early ready to work with every county employee to battle whatever obstacles and barriers stand in our way to improving the way we do our work and fulfill our oath of office. But I never imagined battling such an insidious and challenging foe as the COVID-19 virus. None of us did.
“I’ve exhausted my thinking and our collective capability to come up with satisfactory solutions to the angst expressed by those families. I, all three of us, have no direct purview over private businesses doing lawful work under the Governor’s orders and declaration. Like all fourth class counties, we do not have a health department nor any legal oversight to intervene, even if we had any viable solutions to stopping the spread of this virus in the facility. They are part of our healthcare system and there is no other alternative for their care at this time.
“All we can do is try to mitigate the spread of this unprecedented pandemic, and the pain being inflicted personally, socially and economically on every resident of Beaver County. We’re doing all we possibly can under circumstances. We offer you our support and sympathy. We will get through this if we understand and respect each other with the same sense of community and unity we have always shown in times of difficulty. I ask you to keep the faith, follow the advice of the experts, stay home as much as you can, and stay safe.”