Democratic Party of Wisconsin
Press Release

Janesville Leaders Slam Trump For Failed Pandemic Response as COVID-19 Cases Spikes and Economy Crashes


By - Oct 17th, 2020 11:27 am

(WISCONSIN) — Ahead of Donald Trump‘s visit to Janesville, State Rep. Deb Kolste, Janesville City Council member Susan Johnson, and Laura French, a Wisconsinite affected by COVID-19, held a video press conference slamming Trump’s visit as COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket because of Trump’s failed response. These local leaders emphasized the need to vote for Joe Biden either absentee, early, or at the polls on November 3rd to get the virus under control, save the economy, and build Wisconsin back stronger than it was before.

Watch the full event here or see excerpts of what the speakers said below:

Deb Kolste: “As an elected representative for this community, a business owner, and a medical technologist, and been involved in health care for five decades. I know that Trump’s visit to Janesville is not only dangerous but it also shows how he has failed our community and state. We have hit 1,600 deaths in our state from COVID with no sign of slowing down, while hospitalizations have surged to 181%. Hospitalizations and the astronomical number of deaths is the direct result of a failed national response from a president who shows no leadership…The president also disrespects the citizens of our country as he tries to tear apart the ACA at a time when more citizens need it. At a time when the ACA’s coverage of pre-existing conditions will become even more important…But we, all of us together, do have a plan to vote Trump out of office. We have a plan to vote for Biden and Harris because they do have a plan that will take on the pandemic, to support and expand our health care, and to build back a stronger economy…I encourage every Wisconsinite to go to to check your registration and let’s vote for Biden and Harris to set things right.”

Susan Johnson: “Our Janesville City Government has done an excellent job putting the health of its residents first during this pandemic. We have listened to the public health experts all the way, mandating that masks and social distancing in all city buildings…And we’ve encouraged our residents to follow these simple but vitally important steps in their personal lives to help keep our community safe. These steps save lives and keep our community safe, so when I see the president mocking mask mandates, encouraging people not to follow these guidelines, and ignoring the reality of a crisis that has already taken over 210,000 American lives, it makes me incredibly upset…These are super spreader events and health care experts in Wisconsin and at the CDC have pleaded with President Trump to put an end to this reckless behavior…President Trump’s failed response and inaction in the face of this crisis has led to the death of over 1,500 Wisconsinites. That’s more than 1,500 families who now have an empty chair at the dinner table where a loved one once sat…So I implore all Kenoshans and Wisconsinites to vote absentee, vote early, or make a safe plan to go to the polls. Make a plan to vote — it’s as easy as going to, finding out what materials you need, and making a plan.”

Laura French: “My mother passed away in May from COVID-19…As COVID cases increased in the U.S. in March, the nursing home my mom lived in was put on lock down…As my mother’s condition got worse, my sister and I could only speak to her in her final moments through the window…What makes our pain and grieving for my mother so much worse if we know it didn’t have to be this bad. But President Trump won’t listen to experts or support simple measures like wearing a mask. In fact, he uses the White House podium, campaign rallies like the one he’s hosting today, and interviews with right-wing commentators to belittle our public health experts, to make fun of people for wearing masks, and for encouraging people to go on as if things are normal…Not only has he failed to contain the pandemic, but Trump has also repeatedly belittled my mother’s death…The only way to end this national nightmare is by electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House. All of us need to vote — whether it’s by absentee, early voting, or showing up in person on November 3rd, we have a responsibility to keep our friends and families safe, and we can only do that by getting Trump out of the White House…This election is personal for me, and so many others who have been affected by this pandemic. In memory of my mother, Helen Nemzek, please join me in voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”

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