(WISCONSIN) — President of the Wisconsin Alliance of the Association of Retired Americans Gary Mitchell, and 79 year-old Christy Mougin, slammed Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as it has put older Wisconsinites and Americans in great danger, as well as emphasized the necessity for mail-in ballots. This comes on the heels of over 100,000 Americans perishing from COVID-19 and the Wisconsin Elections Commission, made up of three Democrats and three Republicans, tentatively agreeing to send Wisconsinites absentee ballot request forms.
Mitchell, a lung transplant recipient, helped his organization fight to have the witness signature requirement waived in the April 7th election. Mougin and her husband, who is on oxygen, both tried voting in the April election but were unable to because their absentee ballots never arrived and it would have put their lives in grave danger had they gone to the polls to vote in person.
Despite the chaos and new Coronavirus infections that stemmed from the April 7th election, Wisconsin Republicans and Trump have been fighting tooth and nail against expanding access to mail-in-ballots. Trump has continued to falsely claim that vote by mail is fraudulent, despite that fact that Trump himself votes by mail.. His attacks coincide with a number of polls showing older American preferring Joe Biden, including the most recent Marquette University Law School poll.
You can watch the full event here or see excerpts of Mitchells and Mougin’s remarks below.
Wisconsin Alliance President Gary Mitchell: “As we have surpassed 100,000 COVID related deaths in the United States, it is hard to forget how much this adversely affects older Wisconsinites…We’ve seen nursing homes under siege, children not being able to say a final goodbye to their parents, and couples who spent decades together torn apart by this deadly virus. What makes this pain worse is that we know it didn’t have to be this way. We know that President Trump ignored the warnings he got as far back as January, and that every step he has taken since then — from sending PPE to China, encouraging people to drink cleaning supplies, to refusing to implement a national testing and tracing program, Trump has failed us at every turn. Neighbors, friends, and family members have died because of what he’s done — and more will die who shouldn’t because he’s still not taking this crisis seriously.
“As the recipient of a lung transplant, as a Wisconsinite, as a senior citizen, and as the President of the Wisconsin branch of the Association of Retired Americans, I am horrified at the great risk he poses to older Americans. And with an election around the corner, and with Trump’s failure to contain the virus, who knows where our country will be in five months. That’s why we are continuing our fight to make sure Wisconsinites, regardless of their age, can stay safe but also participate in our democratic process…Trump wants you to believe that this [mail-in ballots] will lead to fraud, but there is no evidence to support this — it is a bald-faced lie. He wants people like me to risk our lives to vote. It’s wrong, it’s un-American, and it cannot stand.”
Christy Mougin, 79 year-old Wisconsinite: “I don’t think the Wisconsin Republicans will do the right thing and protect me. Now we are hearing President Trump saying that mass use of absentee ballots or mail-in votes in November would lead to election fraud. There is no basis for such a claim. He seems to think that keeping people away from voting might win another term for him. He wants people like me to decide whether to vote or to stay home and stay well.
“I grew up thinking that the United States of America was a democracy that encouraged all eligible voters to participate. That’s what we stood for– not anymore. My first Presidential vote was in 1960 for John Kennedy. I never expected to see a President like Donald Trump who ignored the danger of coronavirus, then mishandled the government response, and finally denied any responsibility for the results. 100,000 dead– many of them old and not in good health, like my husband, like me. Trump does not stand for the values or wellbeing of the American people. He seems to want to build walls and degrade immigrants, and above all tell us how great he is. His self serving policies and lack of personal responsibility are making America sad, cruel, and mean spirited. I have no hope that Donald Trump will do the right thing and protect me. June, July, August, September, October, November. Only that long until the election. Will I be able to vote then? Will you? Let’s do what we can to make sure that this election is for all the citizens of the United States.”