MADISON, Wis. – More than 40 physicians in Wisconsin today demanded Assembly Speaker Robin Vos resign as speaker of the legislature for spreading medically incorrect information and blaming immigrant culture for COVID-19 outbreaks in some counties, including his own.

In a letter, the physicians in the Committee to Protect Medicare said Vos’ remarks revealed a “complete lack of understanding of how to effectively confront a pandemic with facts, science and medical best-practices.”

“Speaker Robin Vos’ recent statement suggesting that ‘immigrant culture’ is to blame for an increased rate of COVID-19 cases amongst certain groups is both unscientific and insensitive,” said Ann Helms, MD, a neurologist in Milwaukee. “Mr. Vos’ comments display a complete lack of understanding of the current pandemic and a failure of human compassion. Communities of color are disproportionately affected due to higher participation in essential service jobs as well as lower health care access. Mr. Vos has opted repeatedly to put Wisconsinites’ health at risk by refusing to provide health care coverage for essential workers, even while blaming them for their increased rates of infection. Mr. Vos’ disregard for science in forcing the state to open against recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and forcing in-person voting during a pandemic additionally show he isn’t fit to play a leadership role in our state and he should resign as speaker.”

The Committee to Protect Medicare voiced support for Voces de la Frontera, which is also calling on Vos to resign as speaker during a wreath-laying event in Burlington today to protest unsafe work conditions for workers at Echo Lake Foods, where employee Juan Manuel Reyes Valdez died June 3. Voces de la Frontera says Echo Lake Foods forces its employees to work even if they have COVID-19 or been exposed, and doesn’t offer paid sick days. Vos also lives in Burlington.

According to the physicians’ letter: “Latinos and Hispanics are far less likely to have health insurance compared with the total Wisconsin population. Latinos and Hispanics are far less likely than white people to have their diabetes — increasingly linked to severe COVID-19 infections — under control. Black people are far less likely compared with white people to manage their blood pressure, another underlying condition connected to severe COVID-19 infections.”

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