rookfield, WI – The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over and Democrat Tom Palzewicz is calling for a nation-wide strategy to battle the increasing number of cases.
Palzewicz is running for the Fifth Congressional District seat in Congress, giving voters a clear choice to make in November—a shift in plan or more of the Donald Trump approach. For Palzewicz, the Republican way of dealing with the pandemic is not working and not helping to curb the spread of infection.
“I think we’re going to be dealing with a coronavirus economy for probably 12 to 18 months at a minimum,” said Palzewicz. “And I think that the hard part is figuring out, all right, what does this economy look like, especially when we’re struggling to get people to wear masks.”
“Obviously I still think we’re in the first wave. Cases are ramping up. Hospitalizations are ramping up. Deaths will follow. We’re back to shutting down places where people want to go. The hardest hit industries are the hospitality industry, the travel industry, basically anywhere that people are going and mingling. Those industries are going to really have significant losses. They already have, but those are going to continue for the next 12 to 18 months.”
Palzewicz cited the airline industry, which recently announced 36,000 job cuts because people are not flying and there is no end in sight to the decline in passengers.
“So the starting point is what are we doing about the actual pandemic itself?” Palzewicz asks. “And unless we get Joe Biden in the White House, I don’t see us having a national strategy to deal with the virus.”
Palzewicz brought the issue back home to Wisconsin.
“Even here in Wisconsin, we’re not allowed to have a state strategy because the Republicans went to the Supreme Court to make sure there was no state strategy. They said we needed a local strategy. And now they’re fighting local officials with lawsuits to make sure even local officials can’t have a local strategy. So, here we are. We’re just going to have to figure out how to go about doing this. But the bottom line is until we figure out the virus, We are going to be ebbing and flowing for a while.”
The Badger Bounceback Plan was delivering measurable results before the Republican lawsuit landed. Palzewicz was in his business office in the evening the day the ruling was announced. The next day the bars were open and he saw immediately what was happening and what was likely to happen.
“That night after the Supreme Court ruled, that bar across the street from my office was packed,” Palzewicz explained. “I think we saw that happening all across Wisconsin, and I think we saw that happening in the South. And now we see those cases rising with young people. We see hospitalizations starting to rise.
“Until we have some kind of national strategy to say, are we doing testing on a regular basis? Are we doing contact tracing? What kind of ways are we going to be able to treat the virus for people who get the virus, and then where are we at on a vaccine and where are we with PPE? We’re right back to where hospital workers are scrambling to make sure they have enough PPE to get through their shifts. It’s so predictable and it’s so frustrating yet here we are.”
While President Trump and his task force talk about the strides his administration have made in combating the virus, the truth is elsewhere. The United States lags behind Europe and many other nations in handling the spread of the disease.
“The Republicans have absolutely hung their hats on the fact that there’s enough people who want to declare this pandemic as not real,” said Palzewicz. “Trump supporters demand that it is their constitutional right not to wear masks or socially distance. It’s hurting the country, it’s killing people and that’s why November 3rd is going to be the most important date in our country.”
Palzewicz’s presumptive opponent in November will be Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald, who along with Assembly speaker Robin Vos, was the architect of the lawsuit against Governor Tony Evers.
“It was really Fitzgerald and Vos that brought the lawsuit and argued that the state secretary of health had overstepped her boundaries,” said Palzewicz. “Even with Jill Karofsky winning the election earlier this year, the Supreme Court is still heavily weighted to the GOP. This is the interesting thing–when Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald wanted things to change, they don’t call a legislative session, they go to the Supreme Court. Fundamentally that’s not the way our government is supposed to work, because the Supreme Court is supposed to be nonpartisan, but that’s not the way it’s working in Wisconsin.”
Even though the Republicans won the Supreme Court case, there has been not action of any kind to help Wisconsin citizens fight the virus.
“I don’t understand why Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald don’t have a plan yet,” said Palzewicz. “Not once have they brought forth a plan in Wisconsin to do something about the virus when it comes to business openings, when it comes to school openings, when it comes to public safety and public health, when it comes to allocating funds. You name it—they’re not doing anything about it.