As Congress debates a Coronavirus stimulus package, a Wisconsin Congressman is looking ahead to what needs to be done to combat the spread of the virus while also restoring our economy.
But U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI8) says we can’t know if we’re ready for the next steps because there is still not enough testing.
“Until we get testing where we need it to be, we won’t know,” said Gallagher in an interview with the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL). “We’re fighting blind right now.”
The interview was about an op-ed by Gallagher in the Wisconsin State Journal, Wisconsin Can Cancel the Apocalypse. In the op-ed, Gallagher said the shutdown cannot be a permanent plan for stopping the spread of the Coronavirus.
“Even as the strictest part of the coronavirus lockdown continues, we must start planning for our post-quarantine economy. On our current trajectory, likely no amount of federal relief will save us from another great depression,” Gallagher said. “With small businesses nearing the breaking point and national unemployment claims already approaching the levels seen at the peak of the financial crisis, a long-term shutdown is simply not sustainable for Wisconsin.”
In the WILL interview, Gallagher said the shutdown has bought us time to gather the data needed to control the spread of the disease more strategically.
“But I would say if we emerge from this 15 days with having gotten testing where it needs to be, we’re going to be in a heck of a bind,” Gallagher said.
He said without more data, the state will still make draconian decisions about the quarantine.
“Until we can use technology to collect data and use that to actually improve our sense of what’s going on, we’re going to be wildly throwing everything at this without any sense of whether what we’re doing is working,” Gallagher said.
Still, the congressman does see a time when Wisconsin can be more tactical with its quarantine policies.
“But I do believe there will come a point when we can start, particularly when people get tested, people get infected and recover, we can allow that healthy population to go back to work, still do social distancing, but really still protect the older population and anyone with an underlying health condition, particularly if you have a respiratory condition or something like that,” Gallagher said.
You can watch the whole interview below: