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Dane County exec calls on President Trump to outline emergency plan

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Dane County Executive Joe Parisi
Jacob Karb/WKOW
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi

DANE COUNTY (WKOW) -- On the eve of President Donald Trump's visit Saturday to Rock County, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi is calling on the president to outline an emergency plan for Wisconsin.

"Mr. President – you're coming to the new national epicenter of this pandemic," Parisi wrote in a statement, "Please use this opportunity to tell our state how you are going to stop this scourge."

Parisi noted that more records fell yesterday and patients now are being moved into the temporary field hospital in Milwaukee.

Rock County has one of the fastest increasing per capita rates of COVID-19 in the country. Parisi told 27 News he's concerned the rally could spread the virus further.

"I have two concerns regarding the president's visit," he said. "First of all is the impact it could have as a super spreader event on the people there and the people they come in contact with."

Parisi said he believes it's imperative for the president to set an example.

"Show us what we need to do in order to confront and prevent this virus," Parisi said. "Please wear a mask. Please require people to take the care we know they need to take in order to slow the spread of this virus."

The Trump campaign said everyone attending the event will have their temperature checked and will receive a mask.

Campaign spokesperson Erin Perrine said the campaign is forging ahead with rallies, despite the pandemic, in an effort to help Trump supporters exercise their rights.

"We want to make sure that every American, specifically Wisconsinites, can exercise their first amendment right to peaceably assemble and to listen to the President of the United States," she told 27 News' Milwaukee affiliate Friday afternoon.

Parisi's full statement:

"Wisconsin now sits atop nearly every national worst list for Covid-19. Seven of the top ten cities in the country for Covid-19 cases per capita are right here in the Badger State. More records fell just yesterday as our hospitals overflow and patients are moved into makeshift medical areas that up until now were used for fairs and celebrations. Altering a fairground to house oxygen tanks and medical beds is the clearest illustration yet of the failures of the national response to this pandemic.

"This is so far flung from normal, and more of the same won't cut it. Lots of people are really sick. We have lost 1,553 Wisconsinites to this pandemic. Based on what we are seeing with record numbers of new cases yesterday, this state is on track for countless more stories of needless loss and trauma. Nothing about this is okay.

"Mr. President – you're coming to the new national epicenter of this pandemic. Please use this opportunity to tell our state how you are going to stop this scourge. Share a vision this weekend for getting Wisconsin out of the depths of this public health crisis. Our physical, emotional, and financial health are suffering. Come to Wisconsin and embrace mask wearing. Don't come to be political. Instead, be presidential during a time when leadership matters. This state is really suffering. People are tired of all the words from Washington. Respectfully, please do something."

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Caroline Dade

Reporter/Multimedia Journalist, 27 News

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