Legislative forum

Pennsylvania Sen. Scott Martin speaks during Lancaster Chamber's annual Legislative Issues forum at Lancaster County Club Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018.

Sen. Scott Martin’s brother, a local nurse, publicly challenged the lawmaker for “politically motivated theatrics,” after Martin posted on his official Senate Facebook page about his siblings working as nurses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Martin (R., Martic Township) made a now-widely shared post Tuesday during National Nurses Week to honor his two siblings for their work as emergency room nurses at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.

LNP|LancasterOnline contacted the siblings Martin mentioned in the Facebook post. They both said the senator has not asked them about their experiences treating coronavirus patients, but one of them has spoken with him about the challenges the emergency room is facing. Martin’s younger brother, Ryan Martin, said he has not spoken to his brother since December. 

Scott Martin is one of 13 Lancaster County Republican officials who sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf made public Sunday that outlined the county’s intention to move to “yellow” without Wolf’s approval. Under Wolf’s current orders, the county is still under a stay-at-home order through June 4.

Ryan Martin said it was “my duty as a nurse” to set the record straight and make a public statement on Facebook as one of Scott Martin’s constituents.

“You're a Pennsylvania State Senator, passionately pushing for legislation that removes community safety measures before we are adequately prepared,” commented Ryan Martin, 38, of Manheim Township, in a post Wednesday on the senator’s page. 

Scott Martin refuted his brother’s accusation as “unfounded” and said that he speaks regularly with medical experts and front line workers, including his sister about staffing issues in the emergency room.

“In addition, out of respect for my parents, I prefer not to ‘engage in politics’ with my family,” Scott Martin wrote. “I will, as I have done throughout this pandemic, continue to work closely with our hospitals and health care workers to hear their concerns and address their issues.”

Ryan Martin said he fundamentally disagrees with his brother’s ideals, but that his Facebook post was not politically motivated.

Ryan Martin’s comment is “hidden,” meaning only the senator’s page administrator and Ryan Martin’s friends can see the comment. Other comments regarding Ryan Martin’s statement were also hidden. Scott Martin said it has been his policy since taking office to hide any comments that mention his family and “many of them did just that, and sadly, in a derogatory manner.”

Screenshots of Ryan Martin’s comments were viewed more than 19,000 times on the image-sharing website Imgur and shared by more than 360 times on Facebook.

Ryan Martin, speaking on behalf of himself and not his employer, said he’s had to intubate people around his age and that there are not enough preventative measures in place for Lancaster County to “steal the ball from the quarterback and run the other way” and reopen without Gov. Tom Wolf’s approval.