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Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley and Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson issued a joint statement today calling on Governor Tony Evers to return direct and urgently needed financial assistance necessary to support essential services for County residents and mitigate the racially disparate impacts of COVID-19. The need for County services has increased significantly as a consequence of COVID-19, which has disproportionately impacted Milwaukee County residents and communities of color.
The federal CARES Act originally dedicated $165 million in coronavirus relief funds directly to Milwaukee County to support essential services. Instead, due to a technicality, $103 million of those funds were re-routed to the State of Wisconsin, adding to the state’s $2 billion coronavirus relief funds. Crowley and Nicholson are asking that Governor Evers return to Milwaukee County the CARES Act funding originally allocated to it.
The Governor has made important public health investments from these funds, which will certainly benefit County residents, but no direct support has been provided to Milwaukee County government as intended. These funds, representing less than 5% of the State’s allocation, are essential for the County to meet urgent needs given the enormous costs and lost revenue resulting from COVID-19.
County Executive Crowley and County Board Chairwoman Nicholson released the following statement:
“Wisconsin residents in Milwaukee County, particularly residents of color, are being hit the hardest by this crisis. Now, more than ever, they need the critical services that the County provides on behalf of the state – services that cost more money than the County has.
“Without adequate and direct funding, Milwaukee County will not be able to meet the increasing needs of our residents resulting from COVID-19. And our ability to provide critical services to our community’s most vulnerable residents – including mental health care, housing resources, disabilities services and services for our senior citizens – will be significantly impacted.
“Governor Evers, we ask that you continue to support our critical partnership and ensure that Milwaukee County residents – those who continue to suffer the most during this pandemic – do not have to suffer from the lack of services that will result if the County is not adequately funded.”
COVID-19 disproportionately impacts people of color.
- In Milwaukee County, nearly 78% of all COVID-19 cases impact people of color. (Source: Milwaukee County COVID-19 Dashboard, 5/20/2020)
- Nationally, the mortality rate for Black Americans with COVID-19 is 2.4 times higher than the rate for White Americans. (Source:APM Research Lab, The Color of Corona Virus, 5/20/2020)
- Milwaukee County has been the most impacted by COVID-19, with more than half of all State of Wisconsin COVID-19 deaths. (Source: Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Milwaukee County COVID-19 Dashboard, 5/20/2020)