Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin urged President Trump to send supplies of COVID-19 to Wisconsin, citing six months of shortages that have further compounded the surge in cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks.
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“I urged you to act to provide this aid quickly,” Baldwin said, citing an earlier letter to Trump in April. “It’s now six months later, and Wisconsin is still experiencing supply shortages, which couldn’t come at a worse time. ”
“It’s high time for you to show leadership and take action to support our state with the supplies we need and deserve,” Baldwin wrote in his follow-up missive Friday.
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Wisconsin reported 3,861 new coronavirus cases in the state and 135 new hospitalizations on Friday, straining an already overwhelmed hospital system. Governor Tony Evers authorized the opening of a 530-bed emergency field hospital at Wisconsin State Fair Park, just outside Milwaukee.
But Baldwin told Trump that healthcare workers at Bellin Health in Green Bay and UW-Health in Madison face a looming shortage of N-95 masks, surgical gowns and testing supplies.
The latest cache of supplies was distributed to Wisconsin by the Strategic National Stockpile at the end of March and included N95 respirators, face masks and shields, surgical gowns, coveralls and gloves.
Since then, the number of COVID-19 cases in the state has increased to more than 166,000 while 1,574 people have died, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
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Republican state lawmakers have given the governor a significant step back on mask warrants and his recent restrictions on large gatherings meant to stop the spread of the virus. Trump is expected to hold a rally in Wisconsin on Tuesday, despite strong warnings from health experts against doing so.
“You mismanaged the federal distribution of the medical supplies we need and failed to work constructively with Congress to reach agreement on additional funding for COVID-19 aid including our state desperately needed, ”Baldwin accused.
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“We cannot afford more of your empty promises and we cannot afford to wait,” she wrote.