Wisconsin Republicans now have some new data to chew on. It was predictable, preventable, and it’s probably going to get worse.
From NBC News:
Wisconsin saw a record number of new coronavirus cases and deaths reported in a single day on Wednesday, two weeks after the state’s Supreme Court struck down its statewide stay-at-home order.
The state reported 599 new known COVID-19 cases on Wednesday with 22 known deaths, according to Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services, the highest recorded daily rise since the pandemic began there. As of Wednesday, the state had more than 16,460 known cases and 539 known deaths, according to the department.
In some respects the higher numbers for positive tests were to be expected, since the state exceeded 10,000 tests for the first time, a factor yielding the 599 positive test findings. The number of deaths, however, remain a record, for those Republicans eagerly keeping score. So while the increase in positive test results itself is not necessarily attributable to the openings, the fact that these fatality numbers are appearing within a two-week time frame after the lockdowns ended should give some pause to the Republicans responsible for the state’s current “open” status.
That is, assuming they actually care one way or another. But it seems that the spread of the virus in Wisconsin is not slowing down to any degree. Which was the point of the stay at home orders.
On May 13 a cabal of right wing Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices, after hearing oral arguments remotely from the safety of their homes, jumped at the opportunity to take out their political ideology on the state’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, whom they and their accomplices in the Wisconsin state Senate considered weak and illegitimate (because he is a Democrat). In a 4-3 ruling an all-Republican majority of that Court declared invalid the governor’s “stay at home” order he had issued to protect the state’s citizens from the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Only hours after the Court’s edict freeing Wisconsinites from the burden of eating and drinking at home, the state’s citizens flooded into bars and restaurants, eager to celebrate their newfound “freedoms.” Many business establishments paid but scant lip service to “social distancing,” and while several municipalities fought back with their own ordinances, they were overwhelmed with the glorious sounds of shot glasses clinking and uproarious mirth of the crowds that suddenly appeared.
Governor Evers continues his patient efforts to try to save people’s lives. On Wednesday he plaintively urged people to wear masks whenever possible.
“One of the most important things you can do to help others is to wear a mask or other face-covering in public,” he said. “Wearing a mask shouldn’t be a political statement. It isn’t controversial, and it’s not hard to do.”
But the fact that a governor has to point out to his citizens during a viral pandemic that wearing a mask shouldn’t be a “political issue” demonstrates just how far down the rabbit hole of Republican-inspired lunacy many in this country have fallen.
And those people in the bars right now? They aren’t listening anyway.