Oconomowoc – Representative Barbara Dittrich (R-Oconomowoc), member of the Assembly Committee on Medicaid Reform and Oversight, sent a letter to Governor Evers regarding his recent announcement that he would be deploying $1 billion of federal CARES Act funding to statewide testing for COVID-19. In her letter, Rep. Dittrich expressed concern that Wisconsin’s senior residents are not receiving the same attention that the state’s prisoners are receiving.
“Constituents over the age of 60 have contacted my office, rightly upset that while all prisoners in the State of Wisconsin are being tested for COVID-19, the same courtesy is not being afforded to our senior citizens, despite a higher vulnerability. Some have expressed that the state’s lack of aggressive action leaves them feeling that their age group is not valued and is being left to die. This tells me that we need to be doing a much better job of demonstrating that we care about Wisconsin’s most vulnerable population in this outbreak,” Dittrich stated.
In her letter, Rep. Dittrich noted that those over the age of 60 comprise the largest category of those hospitalized, placed in intensive care, or have lost their lives to this diagnosis. Rep. Dittrich also questioned how much of the $1 billion in testing and $150 million in PPE will be directed to senior care facilities. Finally, she called on the governor and his administration to provide clear protocols to assure the safety of both residents and workers in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and assisted living homes.
“I would hate to see the mistakes of other states repeated in Wisconsin when we can take steps to ensure the most vulnerable populations can be tested and protected.”