Pandemic accommodations turn political at Wisconsin Capitol — 5/11/21

Credit: Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Molly Beck of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the leader of the state Assembly in early April rejected an immunocompromised lawmaker’s request to work virtually, responding that COVID-19 is not airborne — contradicting scientific consensus on how it can spread. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and the Legislature’s human resources director, Amanda Jorgenson, have rejected requests from Rep. Jodi Emerson, D-Eau Claire, to participate in floor sessions and committee hearings from her office. “It really feels like you’re just not valued as a person — that my health doesn’t matter,” said Emerson, who is now fully vaccinated. Vos told the Journal Sentinel that Emerson had been offered a portable plexiglass barrier and a box of face masks, “but Rep. Emerson has decided to take it upon herself to make this a political issue where none exists.”

Top stories

Here the Wisconsin State Capitol is seen on June 11, 2020. Credit: Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Speaker Robin Vos, Assembly official denied immunocompromised lawmaker’s request to work virtually during COVID pandemic — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Vaccine ‘opens up doors for me and my family’: Wisconsin 14-year-old ready for COVID-19 shot — WPR

Poll: Most in US who remain unvaccinated need convincing — Associated Press

Wisconsin to receive $700 million less in federal COVID-19 stimulus funds than projected — Wisconsin State Journal

Evers: Vaccine requirements ‘are not going to happen’ in Wisconsin — Journal Times

County offers rides to seniors for vaccinations — Ashland Daily Press 

Dane County health officials prepare to give COVID-19 vaccine to ages 12 to 15 — Wisconsin State Journal 

People of color in Eau Claire County less likely to have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine — Eau Claire Leader-Telegram

Cases of unruly airline passengers are soaring, and so are federal fines — The New York Times


“I’m just so fortunate to be where I am today because there’s a lot of people that didn’t make it … I can’t thank them enough. I owe my life to them.”

Scott Douglas thanking nurses from SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison who cared for him while he had COVID-19, as reported by Channel 3000

Data to note

Click on the image above to see Wisconsin DHS COVID-19 vaccine data, which is updated daily.

Here’s a look at the Department of Health Services’ vaccine dashboard, which showed Tuesday that 44.5% of Wisconsinites have received at least one vaccine dose, including 81.6% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 37.6% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, including 76.8% of those older than 65. Racial disparities persist in distributing vaccines. The shares of Black, Hispanic and Native American residents to receive a dose remain below that of white residents. 

Public health officials continue to urge Wisconsinites to wear masks indoors and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed — particularly as more contagious virus variants spread. On Tuesday, the state DHS reported a seven-day average of 503 new daily infections. The state also reported 13 new COVID-19 deaths, for a full toll of 6,917. 

Considering a trip to another state? The New York Times has this handy graphic of state-by-state COVID-19 rules. 

WisContext offers this visualization:

Find a vaccine site near you

DHS and the federal government have partnered with Vaccine Finder to help Wisconsinites find vaccinations. Vaccinations are often by appointment, but providers are increasingly offering walk-in options. In addition, people seeking COVID-19 shots can text their ZIP code to 438829 to find nearby vaccine providers.  

COVID-19 fact-checking

Not sure if something you heard about COVID-19 is true? offers this page full of explainers — and debunking of common distortions — about the disease to help you sort out fact from fiction. 

Resilient Wisconsin

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Black Mother’s Day celebration met with lifesaving vaccine and smoked ribs in Green Bay — NEWComer

Column: Green Bay East High School journalists adapted, overcame struggles to publish newspaper during pandemic — Green Bay Press-Gazette

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Pandemic accommodations turn political at Wisconsin Capitol — 5/11/21 is a post from, a non-profit investigative news site covering Wisconsin since 2009. Please consider making a contribution to support our journalism.

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