Top WI Republican Blames “Culture Of Immigrants” For County's Covid Outbreak
Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos was documented blaming his state’s Covid-19 outbreak on the “culture” of immigrants in a secret recording, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
- In a meeting last month between Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Vos, who is Republican, Vos blamed the large immigrant population in Racine County for the county’s coronavirus outbreak:
“I know the reason at least in my region is because of a large immigrant population where it’s just a difference in culture where people are living much closer and working much closer.”
- Forward Latino president Darryl Morin responded saying that Hispanics in Racine County are contracting Covid-19 at higher rates because many of them are essential workers, and demanded that Vos apologize:
“I understood it to be a rather dismissive remark that immigrants and immigrant lives aren’t as much a concern for the speaker.”
One likely factor in Wisconsin outbreaks is the Supreme Court decision that rolled back an absentee-ballot extension during the state’s April primary, forcing Wisconsin voters to choose between voting or staying safe.
- In a 5-4 vote, SCOTUS maintained that residents never requested an extension, and then cited a case arguing that election procedures shouldn’t be disturbed so close to the date of an election.
- Governor Evers imposed a stay-at-home order over coronavirus concerns on March 24, and voters who requested a ballot at that point did not anticipate receiving them in time to submit their vote by April 7, hence the request for a week-long extension until April 13.
- Because of the court decision, voters were forced to vote in-person at polling places, putting their lives in jeopardy.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s move last month to invalidate the state’s stay-at-home order, arguing that the state’s top public health official overstepped by imposing restrictions, likely has affected the state’s overall infection rates as well.
- The state secretary for the Department of Health Services, Andrea Palm, extended the state’s “Safer at Home” order through May 26th under the discretion of Governor Tony Evers.
- In a legal challenge from Republican lawmakers, the court revoked the order, saying that while the governor’s emergency powers granted him the ability to invoke such a measure, the order was effectively imposed by Palm, whose powers as a political appointee were far more limited:
“We further conclude that Palm’s order confining all people to their homes, forbidding travel and closing businesses exceeded the statutory authority ... upon which Palm claims to rely.”
Vos' suggestion that immigrant culture is to blame for infections in his region at the very least fails to consider more plausible factors.