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Wis. democrats hold virtual panel events as Pres. Trump visits Mosinee

Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 7:27 PM CDT
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(WSAW) - Pres. Donald Trump is scheduled to land at the Central Wisconsin Airport in Mosinee around 8 p.m. Thursday to hold a campaign rally. This is the second time Pres. Trump has held a campaign rally at CWA, with his last visit in October of 2018. Ahead of his visit, former-Vice President Biden issued a statement.

Democrats around the Wisconsin also held virtual panels focusing on various topics, all criticizing the Trump Administration’s handling of each topic and hope for a better future in the Biden campaign.

In a panel entitled “What’s At Stake For Health Care,” democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Attorney General Josh Kaul, former Secretary of Health and Human Services and governor of Kansas Kathleen Sebelius, founder of ‘Marked by COVID’ Kristin Urquiza, and Wisconsin physician Jeff Huebner, M.D. talked about the pandemic implications as well as the state of health care policies and coverage for Americans and Wisconsinites.

The members noted their disappointment that the president would hold an in-person rally in the state that would attract large crowds with people, largely, not wearing masks as Wisconsin hits a new record in new positive COVID-19 cases in a day.

“I’m sure you’re aware that Pres. Trump came to Mosinee two years ago and he had a story to tell about health care,” Joe Zepecki with Protect Our Care Wisconsin said. “Unfortunately, he hasn’t lived up to what he said. It is an all-to-common reality in this presidency.”

Sen. Baldwin, who helped to pass the Affordable Care Act said Pres. Trump has spent more time fighting the act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions than finding a solution to health care issues.

“If you’re waiting for Pres. Trump to release his health care plan, he doesn’t have one," Sen. Baldwin. "He doesn’t have one. Trump’s failure to confront this deadly pandemic has led to job loss, lives lost and we cannot allow this to become the new normal.”

She noted Pres. Trump’s private acknowledgment of the seriousness of the coronavirus, and then continuous public dismissal of it, along with calling out numerous administration members who she said failed Americans, such as not having an adequate PPE supply chain.

“This is an issue that really should not be a political issue," Attorney General Kaul said. "This is an issue that impacts, potentially impacts, the life of every person not only in America but in the world.” He continued, “What we need is leadership that is going to unify the American people. We’ve heard the phrase, ‘we’re in this together,' we’re really, really in this together. If any one of us contracts the virus, that impacts the safety of all of us who come into contact with that person.”

He said we need a national plan and all the president knows is how to divide.

Another virtual “Biden for President” panel brought together Milwaukee veterans and union leaders talking about veterans issues. They criticized the Trump Administration’s executive orders, specifically the Accountability Act and Choice Act, and how they have impacted veterans' access to health care.

“What it has done to the employees is that it has limited them from being able to provide the care that those veterans need. If you’re short-staffed, and you’re burning the employees out, they’re not going to be able to function in the manner and give the care that those veterans deserve,” Gayle Griffins, the president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 3 said.

“When I heard from VA workers and people like Gayle and leaders in the AFGE union about what’s really happening to the VA employees, you know, I was really upset because, I was upset because their working conditions are being made more difficult, it’s harder for them to do their jobs because of these changes coming down from the Trump Administration, but that’s also impacting veterans' health care,” Jacob Flom, an Airforce veteran and labor council board member in Milwaukee said.

He noted he has seen increases in turnover in physicians and nurses due to working conditions. Griffins noted the VA used to be one of the best places to work, but now staff are having to work longer hours and burn out quickly. They talked about how Biden’s Build Back Better plan would help, painting the former vice president as the candidate with true respect for veterans, service members, unions, and workers.

Tricia Zunker, the democratic candidate for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional seat also held a virtual roundtable event that included a question and answer session from reporters, though NewsChannel 7 was not invited after requesting Thursday. Zunker, however, did send a statement about Pres. Trump’s visit.

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