Sunday, May 17, 2020

Tracking COVID's Spread After The State Supreme Court's Ruling

Political Heat will report each Wednesday, starting this week, where coronavirus rates are changing across Wisconsin.

On Wednesday last week, the state Supreme Court determined, by a slim majority, that stay-at-home orders issued by Gov. Tony Evers in order to address the coronavirus crisis were unconstitutional.

The ruling from the majority was rife with problems, not the least of which was the fact that a six-day stay of their opinion — which even Republican plaintiffs had asked to happen — was not agreed upon by the four conservatives ruling in the matter, due to the chief justice of the court being ambiguous in her concurring opinion.

So their ruling effectively "reopened" the state. And with Republicans in the legislature not willing to compromise on the matter, opened our state shall be, with the exception perhaps of Dane County, which issued its own stay-at-home orders (other counties had done so, too, but, worried over the legality of doing so, soon rescinded their orders — Attorney General Josh Kaul later issued an opinion stating that the county orders would be deemed legal).

What will happen next? It's anyone's guess at this point. There are more than a few possibilities, but here's what I predict will sadly go down: more Wisconsinites will get sick, and more will die.

I hope very much that I'm wrong, but this isn't rocket science. Coronavirus is a deadly disease, and one that spreads very easily.

I've already documented how the disease has spread in places like Waukesha County, where weekly protests seemed to occur with hundreds of participants refusing to adhere to social distancing protocols. Expect that to happen across the rest of the state, with disastrous outcomes.

Starting this Wednesday — precisely one week after the state Supreme Court issued its ruling — I will provide a weekly update about coronavirus in the state, including which counties have seen a significant rise in cases and/or deaths. I'll be comparing Dane County's numbers to other counties where social distancing is being ignored, including Grant County and Waukesha County, two places that have been highlighted in the news as showcasing Wisconsinites skirting social distancing (after the ruling was made and before it, respectively).

Keeping track of what's going on is important, if only to demonstrate to readers which counties they might want to steer clear of after this ruling was made. But hopefully, it can also show to lawmakers, both local and statewide, the importance of social distancing, so that they can act accordingly.

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