(WISCONSIN) — State Senate Leader Janet Bewley, President of the Wisconsin Farmers Union Darin Von Ruden, and UAW Local 72 Vice President John Drew called out Mike Pence and Donald Trump for their failed response to the coronavirus pandemic that wrecked Wisconsin’s economy for farmers and working Wisconsinites. Trump and Pence’s economic policy has led to disaster and ruin in Wisconsin, with countless farms closing, manufacturing being shipped overseas, and working families being left behind. Now, COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the administration’s callous disregard for working people, and Wisconsinites are bearing the burden of their failed response.
During the press call, Sen. Bewley, Von Ruden, and Drew condemned Pence and Trump’s poor leadership and highlighted the excitement across the state for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to build Wisconsin back better.
Watch the full event here or read excerpts of what the speakers said below.
State Senate Leader Janet Bewley: “The policies of the Trump administration have caused a collapse of small and medium size farms in the Badger State. His chaotic trade wars have led to financial ruin for farmers. Reeling from their impact, these farmers turned to the Trump administration for bailouts… Forced to dump milk, dispose of their herds, and destroy their crops, hundreds of family farms have shut down during the course of these three and a half years. His policies have hurt everyone — Democrats and Republicans alike, and his response to COVID-19 has been even more harmful than his trade policies for this country and specifically Wisconsinites… COVID-19 and this President’s failed response are not just hurting pocketbooks and wallets, they are weakening rural communities… He has clearly stopped trying to solve this crisis and has left us to fend for ourselves — we deserve better. This is one of the many reasons why Wisconsinites will be voting Trump out of office on November 3rd.”
Darin Von Ruden: “Looking at what’s happened during the Trump administration, we’ve lost over 2,000 dairy farms here in the state of Wisconsin since 2016. There’s a record number of bankruptcies, especially here in southwest Wisconsin, we are leading the nation in bankruptcies for an area… Looking at what the president said a little over a year ago, ‘dairy farmers are over the hump, we’re going to be in a better place,’ and we still continue to lose two farms a day here in the state of Wisconsin alone, and that’s not to say anything about what’s happening in the rest of the country. Just looking at the COVID response too, back in early February and March, we should have had a strong national leader… The trade war with China… we really haven’t seen any positive benefit from that… If we don’t make a change this year, we are in for another four years of lower and lower prices and more farms going out of business. I just want to make sure that we’re looking at what’s happening under this administration.”
John Drew: “For the last four years, Donald Trump and Mike Pence have lied to us, about everything. In particular, about how much they care about the American worker…They are not putting American workers first with their utter failure to lead in the fight against COVID-19 that has resulted in tens of thousands of needless deaths. They are not putting American workers first by failing to extend unemployment benefits for the tens of thousands of Wisconsin workers who have lost their jobs in the pandemic. They were not putting American workers first when they passed a massive tax cut that resulted in huge bonuses for CEOs and stock buybacks, and did nothing to raise wages or benefits for American workers… But I will say that I am excited about the Biden plan for manufacturing, because it is the first time I have seen a manufacturing plan that really does put American workers first.”