Though the story is not, at the moment, prominently displayed on the front page of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website, the Milwaukee Health Commissioner has found at least seven people who likely contracted coronavirus through in-person voting that took place in the Wisconsin primary election in Milwaukee. The Wisconsin primary, as you will recall, was forced to happen during our current pandemic thanks to the Wisconsin Republican-ruled Legislature, which refused to postpone the election. The GOP legislators got some help from the conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court, which blocked Gov. Tony Evers attempt to hold the election in June and from the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to allow state voters six more days to return absentee mail ballots.
Here’s what Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel concerning the seven suspected coronavirus cases:
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said about 3,500 voters came to each of the city’s five voting sites and dozens of workers were there as well.
“This will tell you why we were so adamant about trying to not have this occur,” he said, referring calls to cancel in-person voting.
As of this moment there has been no response, no few words of contrition, from the Wisconsin GOP regarding those voters sickened during the in-person voting in Milwaukee. But we can recall the immortal words of WI Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican, spoken as he dressed fashionably in baby blue “personal protective equipment” (PPE) while manning the polls in Racine. So garbed against all manner of infectious disease, Vos told the gathering voters, “You are incredibly safe to go out.” And though his words were muffled a bit by the well-fitting medical mask he was wearing, Vos, the intrepid Assembly speaker, said, “Actually, there’s less exposure here than you would get if you went to the grocery store, or you went to Walmart, or you did any of the many things we have to do to live in the state of Wisconsin.” Yes, less exposure as long as you are equipped as well as Speaker Vos.
Today Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald appeared before the media to. . . not apologize for forcing people to become ill in Milwaukee, but to say they were suing to block Gov. Evers and the Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm from keeping the stay at home order in place until May 26th. Having already unnecessarily risked the lives of Milwaukee voters, Vos and Fitzgerald are at it again. They are concerned about the economy, for by the time the virus is under control and the state can fully open again “many Wisconsinites will have lost their jobs, and many companies will have gone under, to say nothing of the Order’s countless other downstream societal effects. Our State will be in shambles.”
Ah, yes. Better for us all to be downstream of coronavirus, which, if we expose too many people to too quickly, will, in the long run, do far more to harm people and shamble the State. Where is the appropriate federal assistance for Americans who have lost jobs, for small businesses and rural hospitals? Where are all the promised coronavirus tests the state and nation will need to reopen safely? Vos and Fitzgerald ought to be suing the Trump administration. Heck, they ought to be suing and shaming themselves.
UPDATE: See AP tweet below…