James Rowen
Op Ed

Wisconsin Has More People in ICU With COVID-19 Than Canada

Canada has six times more people than our state, but a much lower rate of new cases.

By - Sep 27th, 2020 01:58 pm
2019 Novel Coronavirus. Image by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2019 Novel Coronavirus. Image by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here are some stunning measures of how poorly Wisconsin is controlling the COVID-19 pandemic:

Consider Canada, which closer to Wisconsin than, say, Kansas or Idaho or Virginia or Tennessee, but is an entire country, with a population of 37.8 million people — more than six times Wisconsin’s population of 5.85 million.

Yet, as of Wednesday, Canada reported 92 COVID-19 patients currently in intensive care units there, while Wisconsin exceeded that number by more than 50 percent, with 140.

Call it the tip of the iceberg, as COVID-19 data bases compiled by the New York Times for Wisconsin and Canada reveal more shocking disparities not in Wisconsin’s favor.

Wisconsin reported 10 COVID-19 deaths on September 23rd while all of Canada reported nine, and Wisconsin had close to 80 percent more new positive COVID-19 cases on September 23rd, at 1,883, than did Canada on the same day with 1,090.

I don’t see the Wisconsin-Canadian COVID-19 caseload imbalance flipping, as the Republican/far-right in Wisconsin is dumping on Gov. Tony Eversmask-wearing emergency extension and already convinced the State Supreme Court, back in May, to kill his effort to extend his earlier ‘Safer-at-Home’ policy.

And unlike Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been wearing a mask in public or when working in close proximity to other people since May.

That’s the way a normal leader would educate the public and help reduce a pandemic’s impact, while an abnormal leader who undermines science, won’t wear a mask and gathers people together in crowded, raucous rallies, has helped push the US COVID-19 death toll past an unimaginable 200,000.

300,000 deaths by December 31 isn’t out of the question – even more if seasonal flu weakens more Americans’ immunities – so Wisconsin’s COVID-19 case load and death toll are sure to keep growing.

And the New Year will in all likelihood bring WI GOP State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald to the Congress as a newly elected member, where he can peddle his dumb ‘masks-optional’ ”philosophy’ to fellow science-disbelieving Republicans whose minority status in the House of Representatives we hope spreads to the Senate and White House.

James Rowen, a former journalist and mayoral staffer in Milwaukee and Madison, writes a regular blog, The Political Environment.

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Categories: Health, Op-Ed, Politics

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