This is just a short take on something that appeared in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel…journalists Daphne Chen and Rory Linnane wrote a telling article about COVID-19 and Wisconsin nursing homes. I am not going into that topic directly…but a little aside that appears in the text.
But when trying to find out information about COVID-19 issues with nursing homes in Waukesha County…this transpired:
In Waukesha County, where nine people have died from coronavirus, health officials confirmed “more than one outbreak in long-term care” but would not specify the number of cases or whether the positive individuals are staff or residents.
“You are asked to not contact me, or any other Waukesha County Public Information Officer, or our Health Officer, with additional questions,” wrote county health department spokesperson Linda Wickstrom in an email last week.
WTF? The first amendment provides for freedom of the press and that particularly includes the right and necessity to ask questions of public officials…and to get accurate responses on the behalf of the general public…who on their own wouldn’t have access to the information.
And what exactly is a Public Information Officer for but to provide information to the public including the press?
So given the lack of testing nationwide…and the attitude expressed by an county official…can we trust the numbers for COVID-19 from Waukesha County? or anywhere?