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Pocan discusses COVID-19 in virtual press conference
Congressman: 'We need to be more aggressive in proactively testing people'
Mark Pocan mug

DANE COUNTY — After being quarantined following the positive COVID-19 test of his mother, who has since gone 14 days without symptoms, Congressman Mark Pocan met virtually with constituents to discuss COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

“Our numbers are horrendous in Wisconsin,” Pocan said in reference to the state’s growing coronavirus cases and deaths.

Pocan expressed his approval with Governor Tony Evers’s measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but noted also his dissatisfaction with the State Senate’s handling of the pandemic.

“I’ve seen very little come out of there other than apparently herd mentality,” he said. “I am very concerned about our situation in the state.”

Pocan followed his concerns with recommendations to help slow the surge of cases throughout the state.

“We need to be more aggressive in proactively testing people,” he said. With more tests, carriers will know sooner to self-quarantine to avoid further spread.

Additionally, Pocan noted the state’s low number of contact tracers in comparison to active cases. With just over 11,000 contact tracers, less than 5% of active cases are currently being traced throughout the state, he said.

“We just need to get this done if we’re ever going to address the numbers we have in the state,” he said. “We need to do more. We need to do more ten weeks ago, but I’ll take today.”

Looking to the future, Pocan hopes that additional funds can be directed toward COVID-19 relief, specifically to hire additional contract tracers and work towards proactive testing. He said that, with a lack of federal funding to curb Wisconsin’s spread, state funding may need to be used to ensure action be taken.

“When federal action is not happening, you can’t not protect your citizens because Mitch McConnell can’t govern,” Pocan said.