President Joe Biden, Gov. Tony Evers tout COVID-19 relief plans — 2/17/21

A roundup of top news and information about Wisconsin’s response to the coronavirus

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Today we highlight stories about President Joe Biden’s town hall event in Milwaukee Tuesday night aimed at bolstering support for his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, which includes $1,400 checks for adults and up to $3,500 per child for families. The measures, while popular with the public, are facing strong opposition from Republicans in Congress. 

Meanwhile, Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday unveiled his two-year budget, which includes numerous pandemic-related initiatives, such as $200 million in pandemic relief for small businesses to retain or rehire workers. Evers also is proposing $79 million to replace the state’s “brittle, antiquated” unemployment insurance system that has buckled as hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites have filed claims after losing their jobs during the pandemic. Republicans who control the Legislature say they likely will ignore Evers’ budget and write their own.

Top Stories 

Ebony Cox / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Protesters chant and acknowledge the situation in Myanmar in front of City Hall across from the Pabst Theater where President Biden was scheduled to speak in a town hall with CNN during his first visit to Milwaukee since taking office.

Milwaukee takes center stage as Joe Biden pitches $1.9 trillion COVID relief, seeks to reassure Americans Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Gov. Tony Evers’ budget looks to ‘bounce back’ from COVID-19, revives measures opposed by GOP Wisconsin State Journal

Wisconsin passes 1 million vaccinations administered; 657 cases and 10 deaths reported Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Republican lawmakers move to block vaccines to state’s prisoners WORT-FM

Hospitals still ration medical N95 masks as stockpiles swell Associated Press

COVID variant found in 2 more EC Co. residents Eau Claire Leader-Telegram

First day of vaccine clinic in Rock County goes smoothly as supply issues remain Beloit Daily News

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“A year from now there will be significantly fewer people having to be socially distant, having to wear a mask. But we don’t know. I don’t want to over-promise.”

— President Joe Biden speaking at a town hall event in Milwaukee.

Data to note

Wisconsin has now administered more than 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses — 1,023,576 shots to be exact — as of Wednesday, according to the Department of Health Services

Here’s a look at the DHS vaccine dashboard, which shows that 41.5% of Wisconsinites ages 65 and older have gotten at least one dose — as have 12.7% of the state’s overall population.  

Public health officials continue to urge Wisconsinites to wear masks and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed. 

WisContext offers this visualization of Wisconsin COVID-19 infections and deaths.

Calculate your exposure risk

In Wisconsin, even small gatherings can carry a big risk of exposure to the coronavirus, according to a nationwide tool that estimates the danger by the size of gathering and county in which it is held. Data scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Stanford University developed the tool, which you can find here

Resilient Wisconsin

People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us:

Antigen testing being offered Friday, Tuesday to those experiencing homelessness La Crosse Tribune

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