(MILWAUKEE, WI) — Today, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, President of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, Jeff Weber, and Doctors for America Representative and pediatric anesthesiologist and pain physician Dr. Steven Weismen held a video press conference highlighting the strain that in-person voting will place on the health care system, the disparities in COVID-19 infections in Black communities, and what health care workers need during this pandemic.
Despite efforts by Governor Evers, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, and the Democratic National Committee, the Wisconsin Republican Party, the conservative justices on the state Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court, and Donald Trump, forced and encouraged people to go to the polls in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Milwaukee only had five polling locations instead of the normal 180, where 50,000 voters were expected to vote in person.
The Black community in Milwaukee has already been hit disproportionately by COVID-19, with 81% of the deaths being Black people despite only making up 26% of the population. It is without a doubt that the infection rate will spike and people will die because of what the Wisconsin Republican Party and their allies forced upon Wisconsin residents. Nurses and health care workers in Milwaukee are not getting the treatment and equipment they need to properly combat the deadly pandemic.
You can watch the full video conference here
Congresswoman Gwen Moore: “Literally thousands of people went to vote while they were under a statewide health warning. And while it’s very admirable people exercising their right to vote, certainly in the tradition of putting your life on the line to vote, it was absolutely unnecessary. It was really one of the most cruel tricks pulled out of the Republican playbook in their very full quiver of tricks to suppress the vote…We lost [70 days] at the very beginning of this pandemic when people were warning the President that the pandemic was headed this way. The scientists told us that the pandemic was headed in this direction..President Trump’s response [to having everyone sent a ballot] was ‘if we do that we’ll never have another Republican elected again’…they just say it outloud that they want to disenfranchise people.”
President of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Care Professionals Jeff Weber: “What was forced upon Wisconsinites in every corner of this state Tuesday will undoubtedly lead to a spike in the infection rate. We have nurses and other health care workers who will die because of the work they do trying to keep others healthy…Let take a look at Milwaukee, where it was previously estimated that there would be 50,000 in person voters who were constricted to 5 instead of the normal 180 polling locations. The damage this will cause — we are not ready for it. We have bare bones staffing, insufficient infrastructure and equipment, and a lack of care for the health care workers themselves…We are doing everything we can to save lives, it’s time President Trump and the large medical corporations did the same.
Pediatric anesthesiologist and pain physician Dr. Steven Weismen: “If you remember those images of the people online and those of the pool workers they were using the equipment we need in the health care system to be prepared and to take care of the patients that are already inundating our systems — they were using the personal protective equipment that many of us might need to use and which remain in stream short supply…I have colleagues who are so emotionally distraught about what is going on. I have colleagues telling me, and this is a direct quote ‘I have never been scared of being on call at night in the hospital and for the first time in my career I dread going to work everyday because I don’t know what I’m going to be exposed to…We will not desert our community; we will not desert our patients.”