Madison, Wis. Health Dept: Suggesting Riots Spread Coronavirus Is Racist

Madison, Wis. Health Dept: Suggesting Riots Spread Coronavirus Is Racist

A recent Facebook post from the Madison, Wis., health department tells citizens, “If you’re worried about this uptick in cases of COVID-19, we ask that you worry less about people protesting and more about how you, your family, and your friends can change their social behavior to slow the spread of the virus.”

The Madison and Dane County Public Health Department’s post also suggested that Wisconsinites who are concerned about the spread of the virus via riots the Democrat governor has yet to end are racist.

“We also ask that you consider your assumptions,” the post says. “What racial biases do you have that have led you to believe that protesting is a driver of this pandemic instead of the actions that actually are driving it?”

A new order affecting Dane County, which includes Wisconsin’s state capital, Madison, put restrictions on mass gatherings, restaurants, and bars. The new rules came in the wake of a resurgence of Wuhan virus cases in Wisconsin. The rules were implemented even though coronavirus deaths are down and state health providers have a surplus of medical treatment capacity.  

The Madison and Dane County Public Health Facebook post linked to a blog post on its government website titled, “Protests are not currently associated with Dane County’s rise in COVID-19 cases.” The article states that “gatherings with friends and family, and at bars” are responsible for the spike in coronavirus cases. 

The blog post contends that citizens are not following requirements to stay six feet apart or wear masks, and these peacefully assembling non-rioters are therefore to blame for the governor’s decision to restrict their freedoms. “At these gatherings with friends and family, and at bars, people with COVID-19 report that people generally aren’t following requirements,” the article says. “People aren’t staying six feet apart or wearing masks. As a result, we have a large spike in cases, and we could see a corresponding spike in hospitalizations some weeks in the future.”

The health department also claims, “Our data are not showing a large impact from protests at this time”  because “[protesters] are outside, many people are wearing masks, and people are moving and not always near the same people for an extended period of time.” It also claims racism is a health crisis that is more important than coronavirus, which justifies rioters’ disobedience to public health mandates.

The comments on the Facebook post are overwhelmingly negative. Many Wisconsinites have been horrified by the appalling behavior of Madison Black Lives Matter rioters, which includes attacking police, attacking bystanders, and setting fire to public property. One commenter noted the lunacy in the Public Health Department’s definition of dangerous and non-dangerous behavior: “We can’t have a beer see our loved ones or go to church. But you can riot loot and protest what a bunch of b.s.”

Another user sarcastically wrote, “So your posts say stay away from others you don’t live with and keep gatherings to 25 people or less. Unless protesting because then the virus magically changes how it transmits. Makes sense.” 

Another person suggested, “Whoever wrote or approved this garbage as a formal announcement from your Dept should be immediately fired. There is no place in your Dept. for allowing political correctness and social justice theory… SHAME ON YOU.” 

Evita Duffy is an intern at The Federalist and a junior at the University of Chicago where she studies American history. She loves the Midwest, J.R.R. Tolkien, writing, & her family.
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