Jeramey Jannene
City Hall

Six Council Members Want Tougher Pandemic Rules

Push mayor for indoor mask mandate and mandatory vaccinations for city employees.

By - Jul 27th, 2021 05:43 pm
COVID-19 vaccine. Pixabay License Free for commercial use No attribution required

COVID-19 vaccine. (Pixabay License).

Following a surge in COVID-19 cases, a group of Milwaukee Common Council members is pushing for a more proactive approach by Mayor Tom Barrett and Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson to combat the virus.

In a letter submitted Thursday, six council members asked for a plan to potentially restore a citywide, indoor mask mandate and institute a requirement that city workers be vaccinated or receive regular COVID-19 testing.

“It is disappointing that, as the number of new cases rises, our city’s vaccination rate has remained stagnant, remaining dangerously low in many parts of the city,” wrote Marina Dimitrijevic, Cavalier Johnson, Nik Kovac, Nikiya Dodd, JoCasta Zamarripa and Jose G. Perez.

The city allowed its emergency health order to expire on June 1st, eliminating the associated mask mandate. Barrett has repeatedly said Milwaukee’s approach is to “follow the science.”

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidance Tuesday that even vaccinated people should wear masks in areas where COVID-19 is spreading at “substantial” or “high” rates. More than 46% of U.S. counties fall into that classification, including Milwaukee.

The City of Milwaukee reported a rate of 50.7 cases per 100,000 residents last week, putting the city back into the “substantial” category.

“We certainly have the hope that Milwaukeeans will embrace masks once more,” said Barrett during a media briefing Tuesday, but he also said he did not expect Johnson to use her authority to issue a new mandate.

The six council members are asking Johnson to reinstitute the mandate if the rate again reaches 100 cases per 100,000 residents. “To support this effort legislatively, the Common Council has introduced an ordinance requiring masks indoors should the transmission level stated above be reached. Introducing this file allows us to act swiftly on the matter, should the need arise,” they wrote.

The six council members also want to see a vaccination policy created for the more than 6,000 city workers. “We would also encourage you to consider using your executive authority to enact a policy, similar to ones in New York City and the State of California, requiring government employees to provide proof of vaccination or face regular COVID-19 testing,” they wrote. “This act would show that the city is whole-heartedly committed to fighting the spread of this virus, protecting our workers and the people we serve, while setting an example for other employers in our city.”

The city’s vaccine rollout remains incredibly uneven. Residents of the 53203 ZIP Code, which encompasses the Westown neighborhood, have a best in the city vaccination rate of 68.8% (at least one shot), while residents of the 53206 ZIP Code have a city-worst vaccination rate of 29.3% according to state data. The citywide rate is 42.3%.

Johnson previously said the city is exploring offering more incentives. But the most popular event in Milwaukee in two years apparently wasn’t much of a draw. A chance to win a pair of tickets to game six of the NBA Finals, selling for more than $1,000 each, in exchange for receiving a vaccine shot yielded only 19 participants.

As of mid-May, the census tract bordered by W. Brown St., W. Vliet St., N. 35th St. and Washington Park has a vaccination rate of only 20.7% (at least one dose), the lowest in the county. Two months later it climbed to 22.4% and is now only the fourth worst. The worst is now a census tract along N. 60th St. just north of W. Silver Spring Dr., 21.3%.

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Categories: Health, Weekly

6 thoughts on “City Hall: Six Council Members Want Tougher Pandemic Rules”

  1. NieWiederKrieg says:

    A mask mandate? YES!!

    A vaccination mandate? NO!!!

    These COVID vaccines have killed over 6,000 Americans due to adverse reactions, according to the CDC. There have been no deaths reported for people wearing COVID masks.

  2. Dave Reid says:

    @NieWiederKrieg “These COVID vaccines have killed over 6,000 Americans due to adverse reactions, according to the CDC.” Nope. This is false. It is NOT what the CDC’s VAERs database shows. The website and the CDC make it very clear the reports do NOT prove causation. This is mentioned numerous times on VAERS, but sadly ignored by many. In fact, on the very page you link to: “Reports of adverse events to VAERS following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem.” And again on that page: “FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS, even if it’s unclear whether the vaccine was the cause.”

  3. NieWiederKrieg says:

    @ Dave Reid – The CDC has reported 6,340 COVID vaccination deaths as of July 21, 2021.

    But they didn’t include Hank Aaron who died of respiratory failure 17 days after taking the shot. And they didn’t include prize fighter Marvelous Marvin Hagler who died of respiratory failure 2 weeks after taking the COVID shot.

    The number of Americans who died from COVID vaccination is probably closer to 15,000 or 20,000. And this doesn’t include the permanent injuries caused by the vaccination.

  4. Dave Reid says:

    @NieWiederKrieg “The CDC has reported 6,340 COVID vaccination deaths as of July 21, 2021.” This is 100% false. The CDC has not and in fact says so numerous times on the VAERS site you are incorrectly reading. I’ll try this again, and ask you to stop spreading misinformation. From the page you link to: “Reports of adverse events to VAERS following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem. A review of available clinical information, including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records, has not established a causal link to COVID-19 vaccines.” (bolding added by me for emphasis).

    I’m sure there are many people that have died after having lunch, but it doesn’t mean having lunch is what killed them.

  5. TransitRider says:

    @NieWiederKrieg, in 2019 (before Covid), the US recorded 2,854,838 deaths (7,821 deaths each day).

    While some Americans have not been vaccinated, many have been vaccinated twice, so total US vaccinations (343 million) approximates the total US population (330 million).

    So, if people getting covid shots died at the average 2019 rate, you’d expect roughly 7,800 to die within one day of getting a shot; 15,600 to die within 2 days, etc.

    Now since you feel deaths occurring within 17 days of vaccination are suspect (like Henry Aaron), consider that about 133,000 people died EVERY 17 days in 2019—far more than the total 6,340 you deem a smoking gun.

    p.s. Do you drive a car??

    Driving is FAR more dangerous (tens of thousands dead each year DIRECTLY—provably—caused by motor vehicle accidents) than even you believe Covid vaccination to be.

    Covid vaccine saves lives!

  6. NieWiederKrieg says:

    @TransitRider & Dave Reid:

    There are two ways to fight COVID – masks and vaccines. I’ll stick to my COVID mask and vitamin D until something better and safer comes along.

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