The coronavirus on Smart Talk Tuesday: security of the food supply, vaccine trials and helping aging Pennsylvanians

While many businesses in Pennsylvania have closed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf reminded Pennsylvanians that this does not include grocery stores and food suppliers.

Governor Wolf said that all Pennsylvanians should have faith in our food system and that if everyone only buys what they need there will be enough for everyone.

Since the outbreak began there have been shortages of certain products, like toilet paper and cleaning supplies, leaving some uneasy about the reliability of the food supply.

Representing the Pennsylvania Food Merchant’s Association, Scott Karns, CEO of Karns Quality Foods, and Joe Fasula, owner of Gerrity’s Grocery Stores appear on Smart Talk Tuesday to discuss food network security.

Meanwhile, there is no cure for COVID-19. The first clinical trials for a vaccine to protect against the virus began just over a week ago. Public health officials say it will take a year to 18 months for a a potential vaccine to be fully tested.

University of Pennsylvania Professor of Biostatistics, Medical Ethics and Health Policy Susan Ellenberg, PhD. is an expert on clinical trials and medical product safety. She’ll appear on Tuesday’s Smart Talk.

Also, there are certain people and age-groups who are at greater risk for the coronavirus.

Robert Torres, Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging, is on Smart Talk to discuss how older adults and especially those with underlying medical conditions are the most vulnerable during the outbreak and how the state is continuing to offer services and support.

The PA Link to Community Care website is designed to help persons with disabilities and seniors find information that will connect them to supports and services in their community, or call 1-800-753-8827. 

For individuals who would like to volunteer for emergency disaster response visit here. 

Patient assistance clearing house call 1-800-955-0989. 

For suspected elder abuse or abuse of an adult with a disability call 1-800-490-8505.