WI COVID fatalities 11x state 2019 OWI death toll
Here's a way to grasp the COVID-19 carnage enabled in Wisconsin by AWOL and empathy-free Republican legislative partisans across Wisconsin.
As of Saturday morning, COVID-19 since March has produced 1,454 dead people - which is almost 11 times the 136 people who died in Wisconsin drunk driving crashes in 12 months last year.
Drunk driving in Wisconsin
has extensive personal, social and financial consequences which have repeatedly documented by health care professionals and showcased righteouslyby media and grassroots activists:
The faces behind the stories: Meet the victim advocates trying to stop drunk driving
And yet reckless conduct by impaired drivers on state roads has been allowed to continue with only grudging attention from weak, special-interest-beholden GOP legislative leaders:
Criminalizing first-offense OWI won't get a vote in the Wisconsin Senate
The committee chairman, state Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine)....has vocalized his opposition to the bill a number of times, saying he believes it will increase repeat drunk driving in Wisconsin.
That rang a bell for me:
When I was researching this post, I did not know Sen. Wanggaard had played a key role in short-circuiting that key OWI reform - the same Sen. Wanggaard who just went on the record with the Journal Sentinel with even more callous objections to Gov. Evers pandemic-curbing measures:
While most of his colleagues were unwilling to talk to the paper on the record about COVID-19 and legislating, Van Wanggaard said that the GOP-controlled Legislature will meet after the November election...to kill Gov. Evers' emergency COVID-19 orders if litigation which GOP leaders have joined hasn't by then convinced Wisconsin's judiciary to get the job done.
Which means Republican legislators will continue to evade any accountability in legislative chambers and at the polls for the virus's escalating suffering which in Van Wanggaard's home county has already spawned 5,933 cases (433 just last week alone) and 98 deaths, data show.
In fact, Van Wangaard said he'd stand on a point of ideology against Evers' mask order even if COVID-19 tallies absolutely exploded:
He said he wouldn't back a mask requirement even if COVID-19 becomes 10 times worse than it is now. Wisconsin now has an average of 2,300 new cases per day — an increase of 180% over a month ago, according to the state Department of Health Services....“Nobody should be dictating to me when I have to wear a mask.”
How many times will WI GOP legislative leaders and right wing judges here be allowed to implement their 'life is cheap here' agendas before voters replace them with elected officials who will put public health first?
It's a pity that Wanggaard represents the 21st Senate District (most of Racine and Kenosha Counties, including Speaker Vos 63rd Assembly district) and is not up for re-election this year. Beat incumbent John Lehman in Red Tidal 2010. Likely thinks he can get away with hard core opposition to common sense public health measures and that voters will forget by 2022.
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