Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Press Release

Health Professionals Speak Out Against Social Distancing Protests

In video statements recorded this morning, health professionals explain why the the Governor’s Safer at Home order is an essential measure for containing COVID-19, creating conditions to gradually and safely reopen the economy

By - Apr 24th, 2020 11:48 am

Statewide: This morning before scheduled State Capitol protests against Wisconsin’s most effective COVID-19 containment measure, public health professionals taped brief video interviews to discuss the situation. These dedicated caregivers hope by offering this testimony to counteract the disinformation being spread through social media and irresponsible national media outlets to mobilize opposition to social distancing. The health professionals explained why maintaining social distancing is essential for saving lives, protecting front line caregivers and other essential workers, and slowing the virus enough to safely reopen the economy.

Elizabeth Riley: Elizabeth is a nurse who recently returned to Wisconsin after spending several weeks working in a Brooklyn, NYC Intensive Care Unit. She describes the horror of the ICU, the horrible and lonely deaths of her patients, and her dread that Wisconsin could become like New York City if the Safer At Home order were lifted. https://youtu.be/JWa55RJtvBU

Jeff Weber: Jeff is the President of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals. He worries about Wisconsin hospitals’ capacity being overrun with a surge of COVID-19 cases resulting from these protests and premature lifting of the Safer At Home order. He states we need two weeks of sustained decline in new cases before lifting the order.  https://youtu.be/dogIXdYMIe8

Lynn Carey: Lynn is a nurse practitioner, educator, and PhD as well as a double lung transplant recipient. Her advice for beating this virus: “stay home!” https://youtu.be/rKsyDBi8uU4

Victoria Gutierrez: Victoria is a frontline nurse in Madison. She is concerned that the capitol protest will cause an increase in COVID-19 cases and put strain on the already short supply of personal protective gear used by nurses. https://youtu.be/93sxJ5vxfOA

Mary Milton: Mary is a frontline nurse in Milwaukee. She monitors the protective gear used by her hospital’s workers. She says she has “never seen such suffering” as that of her COVID-19 patients. https://youtu.be/QXDgiTlHOFs

Emily Siegrist: Emily is a nurse and nurse educator from the Milwaukee area. She is worried about the lack of support for frontline health care professionals and that protesters today will not take protective measures. https://youtu.be/Oy9S_E0kRDQ

“Front line health professionals, many of whom are risking their own health treating the victims of COVID-19, are urging the people of Wisconsin to maintain social distancing as the best way to contain this deadly pandemic,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “If we are going to pull together and meet this challenge, we need to start listening to the scientists and the front-line caregivers, not the cynical politicians and billionaires seeking to exploit the crisis for their own purposes.”

For more detail on Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s COVID-19 policy proposals, see our March news release and memo to the Governor, and a recent column.

Link to release

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