(WISCONSIN) — Wisconsinites have been speaking out across the state as Trump has failed farmers, manufacturers, frontline and essential workers, small businesses, teachers, students and their families, and older citizens.
See below for what they’ve been saying:
Darin Von Ruden, President of the Wisconsin Farmers Union: “All of these people whom I represent — Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike — suffered and saw their livelihoods destroyed because of Trump…Like the rest of the country, we are reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and Trump’s failed response to this crisis. For those of us who help feed the country it’s been particularly painful. We’re having to dump milk, burn crops, and euthanize livestock because once again we don’t have markets to sell our products. It seems that this was unavoidable — that things didn’t have to get worse, but Trump ignored a problem staring him in the face merely because he thought it wouldn’t be good for him politically to acknowledge it…I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that if Trump wins this election what’s left of Wisconsin’s agriculture industry is going to be in tatters.”
Shari Signer, Inpatient Nurse: “Shari Signer, an inpatient nurse in Madison, spoke with reporters on the Tuesday call organized by Pocan’s office. She and her husband are both nurses. Signer said she was recently told to keep reusing masks ‘until there are visible holes or broken straps on them…I’m expected to wear the same mask from patient room to patient room, despite their isolation, despite their health care conditions,; she said. At the end of the day, she puts the mask in a brown paper bag to be re-worn the next day. ‘It is outrageous that health care workers continue to show up for a battle against a deadly virus without the protection, resources and support that we need to safely do our jobs,’ she said.”
Rick and Laure Engen, Wisconsinites who lost a brother to COVID-19: “I recently had to say goodbye to a loved one for the wrong reason — my brother lost his life to COVID-19 just over a month ago. As my wife and I continue to mourn for him, it’s hard to accept that his death was preventable…I’m a pastor, and until recently, since the outset of the pandemic we have not held in-person church events. Now my church follows very strict guidelines to protect everyone from getting sick. My wife, who has diabetes and a heart issue, has left our house roughly a dozen times since March 1 — all for doctors appointments. She has had open heart-valve surgery as well as an atrial flutter, making her far more susceptible to getting sick and dying from COVID-19. We have done everything right — we have done our duty as fellow citizens, so our simple question to President Trump is this: why can’t you?”
Dennis Delie, State Treasurer for the Wisconsin AFL-CIO: “In 2017, Trump signed into law a tax bill that was a boon for giant corporations and left the rest of us behind. Instead of increasing wages for the employees who make it possible for these companies to make billions of dollars, executives were rewarded with even bigger bonuses. Instead of hiring more workers, they shipped jobs overseas…But what has really shown Trump’s callousness towards working people has been his response to the COVID-19 pandemic…It hasn’t been his donors who are paying the price or the buddies he went golfing with in the middle of this crisis — it’s been working class people. He looks at us as expendable, unimportant, nobodies…Trump is not a president for working Wisconsinites or Americans; he uses the Oval Office to enrich himself while the rest of us are left to fend for ourselves. We have been crushed for more than three years under the Trump presidency, and we can’t afford any more.”
Sarah Godlewski, Wisconsin State Treasurer: “While Congress and state governments across the country have taken action to support businesses, local businesses in Wisconsin haven’t gotten the resources they need due to negligent leadership from the Trump administration. Like so many others, I am frustrated that the Paycheck Protection Program funds, which come from taxpayer dollars, are being misused. These funds were meant to help small businesses overcome financial challenges caused by the coronavirus epidemic. Instead, they went to mega corporations that got special treatment while mom and pop shops back home struggled to figure out how to even apply for the funds before they ran dry…The Trump administration continues to pick Wall Street over Main Street, and hardworking Wisconsinites continue to struggle…Main street is what makes Wisconsin, Wisconsin. I fear without these changes supporting our mom and pop shops, the Trump administration will make the Badger State unrecognizable for years to come.”
Ron Martin, President of the Wisconsin Education Association Council: “I can’t say I’m surprised at the void in the DeVos/Trump response to the pandemic. They pursued a federal budget that tried to slash over $8 billion in funding for public education, including a proposed elimination of funding for the Special Olympics, assuming nobody would notice. DeVos callously ignored expert guidance on school shootings and supported arming teachers instead of addressing the source of school violence. What Wisconsin needs now is serious consideration about how our students and educators can safely learn and teach during a pandemic. Instead, we get a TV campaign telling school districts they are on their own, mirroring Trump’s position that states are on our own. Students, teachers and families deserve better.”