WISCONSIN — As protestors converged on the State Capitol in violation of Safer at Home orders Wisconsin Organizing Together hosted an online, virtual event to allow Wisconsinites to show their support for essential frontline workers like nurses and law enforcement while following social distancing guidelines.

The virtual event featured Allison Sorg, a Madison area nurse, State Senator LaTonya Johnson; Charles Manning, a Milwaukee nurse; and Lynn Carey, a retired nurse and nurse educator who is immunocompromised. The event can be viewed HERE.

Today’s event comes on the heels of new polling showing widespread support for common sense social distancing measures and opposition to reckless protesters like those in Madison. According to Public Policy Polling:

  • 74% of Wisconsinites think current social distancing guidelines are the right thing to do or support even stronger measures to protect public health.
  • 86% of Wisconsinites remain very or somewhat concerned about the coronavirus.
  • 64% of Wisconsinites oppose protestors seeking an immediate end to social distancing guidelines.

Images of today’s protests cannot be allowed to distort reality – the overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites know they are safer at home and remain committed to flattening the curve to protect our frontline workers and public health.  

During the event, speakers praised frontline workers in essential occupations, warned about the ongoing threats to safety and health security posed by the virus, and called for unity in the midst of this crisis: 

“These protests show no respect to those of us who are keeping Americans safe whether we’re nurses, nursing home workers, grocery store workers, city bus drivers, or so many other essential workers who are keeping our country running and risking our lives during this crisis,” said Allison Sorg, RN. “We don’t want to see these protestors showing up in our hospitals in a few weeks or the people they love and their families.”

“If we open our doors too soon, we will create fear and distrust, and people won’t participate in the economy. The economy won’t get better because people will be fearful of leaving their homes,” said State Senator LaTonya Johnson. “There should be no Republican and Democratic sides in the midst of a pandemic because we all should err on the side of making sure our constituents are healthy and safe.”

“We don’t have enough equipment. We don’t have enough people, and let’s not forget there were nursing shortages before COVID-19,” said Charles Manning, RN. “We’re not ready yet. Stay at home. Be safe. Let us do our work to get through this.”

“Five years ago, I was near the end of my life. I had one option, and that was a double lung transplant… I was blessed with the generosity of a very young donor,” said Lynn Carey, retired RN and nurse educator. She shared that because she is a transplant recipient, she is at especially high risk for COVID-19. “In honor of my young donor, I want to respect the fact that I need to stay at home. I need to protect myself because of the gift I’ve been given.”

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