Protesters Descend On Wisconsin Capitol To Send A Message: We’re Done Staying Home By Kylee Zempel for The Federalist
Wisconsinites are signaling they’re done playing political games and aren’t buying into the idea that they’re ‘Safer at Home.’
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin stay-at-home orders were supposed to expire Friday. Instead, thousands of disgruntled Wisconsinites descended upon the capitol in protest after the Evers administration extended the Dairy State’s so-called Safer at Home order another month.
The Freedom Rally is in full swing in Madison, Wisconsin — @kyleezempel is there with on-the-ground coverage
Watch here: pic.twitter.com/pXjp5ZOU2Q
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Endless blaring honks turned to white noise as vehicles backed up East Washington Avenue before circling the capitol, with many waving signs and flags out of windows and sun roofs. One man drove a Yukon decked out with Trump 2020 gear, pulling a trailer he had transformed into a “Trump Unity Bridge” and leading passersby in a chorus of “M-A-G-A” to the YMCA song.
One man played an audiobook of the Constitution from a boombox in his driver’s window. Somebody navigated a remote-control plastic virus, chasing people around the State Street intersection, and one man tossed out roll after roll of toilet paper, which a nearby woman scurried around to gather.
Some rally attendees donned masks and stuck to the periphery, while others packed in close to one another. Several counter-protesters straggled through — a woman in scrubs held a “Go Home” sign — but they were few.
Coronavirus Cases in Wisconsin Aren’t What They Seem
April 16, on joint letterhead with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, Department of Health Services acting Secretary Andrea Palm unilaterally decided the stay-at-home order would continue through May 26, ensuring schools, many houses of worship, and “nonessential” businesses will remained shuttered for more than another month at least. Republican state lawmakers on Tuesday filed a lawsuit to block the latest order, asking the state Supreme Court to take the case directly, which would bypass lower courts to get a faster ruling.
As of April 20, a total of 5,350 people in Wisconsin have tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus, with 262 fatalities. Wisconsin has 5.8 million residents, meaning positive cases are 0.09 percent of the state population.
“This isn’t a game. This isn’t funny,” Evers wrote on Facebook. “People die every day because of this virus — often times painful and lonely deaths — and the more we delay or play political games the more people die.” Of the stay-at-home orders, the governor said, “It’s working. We have flattened the curve here in Wisconsin and have prevented the death of at least 300 Wisconsinites, and perhaps as many as 1400 lives.”
While Evers cites “flattening the curve” as the impetus for continued shutdowns, statewide data reveals most counties have few-to-no COVID-19 cases. Milwaukee County, the urban hotspot, has seen the greatest outbreak in the state by far, with 154 deaths. From there, the numbers drop off dramatically. Dane, Waukesha, and Racine counties follow with 21, 14, and 10 deaths, respectively. Most other counties in the state show zero or one fatalities.