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Does 1918 Even Apply Here?

What Next | Daily News and Analysis

22:27 min | 7 months ago

Does 1918 Even Apply Here?

"This message is brought to you by discover. You want to hear something. Amazing discovery matches all the cash back. Earn on your credit card at the end of your first year and it's even more amazing because discovers accepted at over ninety five percent of places in the US the take credit cards learn more at discover dot com slash. Yes two thousand nineteen Nelson report limitations. Apply he went next listeners. Before start the show I wanted to. Just thank you for sharing your stories to our voicemail box. We are listening and we really appreciate it. Keep them coming. Our numbers two zero two eight eight two five eight eight or you can just me. I'm at Mary's desk all right onto the show about a month ago before we were all socially distancing ourselves before New York and California and Illinois were all on Lockdown Harvard. University hosted this panel. They called it going viral looking at video of this event. Now it's weird to see people jammed together shoulder to shoulder okay. I think we're going to begin. I think everybody's settled here and there's now some people moving into the overflow room over in the Belfer room remember overflow rooms fueling world's ago where everyone's altogether sitting at a table talking about pandemics but all the things you guys were talking about back then are now very very relevant right now. It's very strange. David Jones was one of the people speaking at this event. Though in truth he didn't really want to be there. I would periodically get calls from reporters in February. And I'd say look I haven't really engaged with this You need to talk to public health. Who actually have the inside knowledge. I don't think I have anything to say yet when I when I was asked to. Participate now panel. I would have said No. Except the person who asked me was one of my old mentors and so I couldn't say no and then very quickly there after things have totally spiraled out of control but in all consuming way that I don't think anyone would have expected as recently as two weeks ago. David was at this gathering to try to explain what history has to say about a pandemic he got in front of the audience and he said if you look at enough of them outbreaks like this one. They play out in an almost predictable way step by step. It's all laid out. Most clearly in a work of fiction Albert Camus the plague the first twenty pages of that book are a description of a society ignoring early signs of a pandemic and he describes it really well and it's very sad to see US reenacting this drama. That has been so well described seventy years ago. David says that part of the reason historians like him are looking at this novel to explain. What's happening right now is that it's impossible to find a perfect historical allegory for this corona virus. And when you try it can limit you really so much of the political conversation in action now is driven really by historical question. Which is will this be like nine thousand nine hundred eighteen and is there anything we can do to prevent that from happening crisis? The only parallel I think is not only the one thousand nine hundred eighteen Spanish Influenza. Listen dealing with the nineteen eighteen influenza. Pandemic where we'RE PUBLIC HEALTHCARE CRISIS WE'VE had since one thousand nine hundred eighty one over one hundred years and that's a totally reasonable question to ask. It's just an incredibly difficult question to answer. Why because the world twenty twenty is quite different than it was in nineteen eighteen and we don't know whether this current corona virus like influenza or will do its own thing and there's just so much uncertainty in every aspect of that question today on the show but history can and can't tell you about the way this virus story is going to play out. David knows better than anyone. That looking back can give tunnel vision. He's been looking back anyway. I'm Mary Harris. You're listening to what next stick with us. This episode is sponsored by Charles Schwab. The distance between Washington and Wall Street gets shorter all the time our finances portfolios and the markets are affected daily by the policies and politics. Coming out of the nation's capital Mike Townsend Charles Schwab Vice President for legislative and regulatory affairs hosts the original podcast Washington wise investor for. He takes a non-partisan look at the stories that matter most investors including tax policy the Federal Reserve the national debt the federal budget trade policy and how regulatory developments can affect companies sectors and even the entire market. Mike and his guests offer actionable insights to help you make sound financial decisions. Download the latest episode and subscribe at Schwab Dot com slash Washington wise. Or wherever you listen working remotely can be a challenge especially for teams. That are new to it. How do you deal with your work? Environment being the same as home while staying connected and productive and then there's your newest co worker the cat well your friends at Trello have been powering remote teams globally for almost a decade at a time when teams must come together more than ever to solve big challenges. Trello is here to help trello part of Atlassian collaborative sweet is an APP with an easy to understand visual format plus tons of features that make working with your team functional and Just Plain Fun. Cello keeps everyone organized on the same page helping teams communicate focus and connect teams of all shapes and sizes at companies like Google Fender Costco. And likely your favorite neighborhood. Coffee shop all use trello to collaborate and get work done. Trello for free and learn more at TRELLO DOT com. That's T. R. E. L. L. O. DOT COM TRELLO DOT COM. You've said that pandemics like this. The actually have like a natural dramatic arc. Can you explain that a little bit? So so what happens? Is You have a community that is cruising along at baseline with all of these latent inequalities structures that people tend to pay not much attention to and then something will start to happen as the virus starts to spread and so an epidemic of plague. Either real ones the ones that can move described the rats who die I and so the famous opening scene. The doctor comes out of his office. Sees a dead rat on the stoop. Kicks it aside and doesn't really register to him a significant until he starts to see more and more dead rats so the first step is denial. Denial and their their number of reasons. That drive that so one. I think is a psychological reason. Which is that people want to reassure themselves that the world they know is going to continue as it has been in the. Sun Rose yesterday. We assume it will rise tomorrow. That is a psychological minimization Sometimes I think it's Balder. Economic interest so any business or any city leaders know that if they declare an epidemic in their city is going to cause catastrophic economic damage goes back to early modern Europe. You know nobody wanted to declare. That plague was present in the city. Because that would bring trade to a halt and so there have been economic reasons to deny the presence of an epidemic of contagious disease in the city. That sounds familiar. I mean when you saw president trump over the past month saying this was no big deal and sort of pointing to the financial system. It must have felt familiar. The virus they're working hard looks like by April. You know in theory when it gets a little warmer miraculously goes away. Hope that's true but we're doing great in our country China. I spoke with President Xi. And they're working very very hard and I think it's GonNa work out fine rough stuff. I tell ya rough rough stuff but I think it's GonNa work out. We only have eleven cases and they're all getting better. Yep exactly in telling people just keep doing your things. Keep going out to restaurants not a problem at all. I'm going to keep doing my campaign rallies. There's nothing to worry about here. Nothing significant but then what happens? And because of the exponential growth potential driven by the relationship between the pathogen and the population eventually the signal becomes so strong that it can't be ignored. You just accumulate enough people enough deaths and once it has been recognized. You then see the mad rush to explain what what happened. Why is this APP going on and that almost always involves blame so so one part of the explanation is very medical microbiological explanation? A new corona virus entered the human population and began to spread. That's true but no one is fully satisfied with that story. You have all these other stories that there were these bizarre exotic meat markets were bats are crapping pangolins and spreading viruses and then people buy these raw ant-eaters and somehow fry them up and in fact from and who knows what actually happened. Where are you just hear someone? Call it the Wuhan virus or the Chinese virus or trump and other senior officials are saying now that you know this is China's fault because they failed to contain it could have been stopped right. Word came from China. If we would have known about it. If they would've known about it could have been stopped in its tracks. Unfortunately they didn't decide to make it public but the whole world is suffering because of it our fault we failed to prevent it from entering the country. There's plenty of fall to go around big into the server ubiquitous part of the epidemic response. And so so. The blame always involves. Accusations made across lines of race ethnicity in AIDS in the nineteen eighties. It was gender. Identity Scholars have comp with lists of really scathing things that were said about gay population of the US in the nineteen eighties. This divine wrath. These people deserve whether getting Really really awful Stuff was said by very prominent public figures in the early years of epidemic. So we've been through the first two acts of pandemic response blame and denial and now the US is in the midst of the Third Act of the story mass mobilization. The responses that have been done in the past week are completely unprecedented in human history. They're far more impactful on the general population than even what was going on during world. War Two at no point in human history has large chunks of the. Us population been told to stay inside potentially for a six to eight week period. We've lost a third of the value of the stock market costs. That are concentrated on a very small number of people but it's still dramatic. There's going to be mass unemployment. I think they said Massachusetts. There were twenty thousand new unemployment claims in one day in one state. The these responses are going to have a Gargantuan cost and that cost. We won't really know if it was worth it until long. After responses over is it appropriate is a very hard question to answer. Because you know we'll only really know. In retrospect people I respect greatly will say our models suggest that this is going to be a huge epidemic and we will clearly overwhelm hospital capacity and look what is happening in Italy. We don't WANNA be like that. So therefore it's okay to wipe out. The stock market caused mass unemployment. We can do these things. We will survive so we ought to do them. That's a pretty good argument. I think But then you can sort of push on the details. We'll hunt had a real struggle but other cities in Southeast Asia have managed to contain the epidemic with much less dramatic responses than what we're doing in the US at present. Some cities in Italy have clearly seen a fiasco of overwhelmed healthcare services but not all cities in Italy. And so it's it's a very mixed message about what this virus is doing to cities. That strikes precaution may still be the wisest response. If there's something that we can do and we can survive doing it. That is reasonably likely to prevent a bad outcome. It probably is worth doing. So I'm on the show Chelation bandwagon and we'll see but as this goes on week after week after week. I think we are going to have to ask hard questions. Have we killed more people in our response than either? The virus has killed or even with the virus have killed. Had We not done this? There's not really a satisfying answer to that question. Right now the best we can do is look back to the last time there was a respiratory epidemic in the United States. That's nineteen eighteen. The data collected from that pandemic. It offers clues for how this could all turn out of. Data's never completely perfect iron clad but the cleric trend that came out of it. Was that cities that were enthusiastic. And responsible about social distancing or as some people are now saying physical distancing Had A milder experience with the epidemic densities that ignored the problem and milder experience. In many cases meant fewer deaths and everyone hopes that corona virus is similar enough to flew such that those sorts of responses will have that desired effect. In this case. I WANNA I wanNA talk about this a little bit more because I talked to a doctor Sunday who is looking at that archive and he was like well. But look at San Francisco. San Francisco shot a lot of things down and they didn't see the same flattening of the curve and I. I wonder if we know that for certain. But I'm I'm curious how much we really know about the social distancing and how it worked yes there are two things there. So so what is said? No data set is ever perfect and you can certainly pull pair wise comparisons. You can find a city that was aggressive and had mild flu in a city that was lackadaisical and had bad flu. But you can also find cities that seems to respond. In a robust way and didn't have a great outcome the the world is a messy place interventions are going to play out differently in different places and you can't always get decisive consistent results when you're looking at historical experiences in hundreds of cities now some people will say well maybe. San Francisco said it was doing all these things. That really didn't do that well but it could also be that there are other factors that are involved in you. Are there any historical lessons about how we've recovered from moments like this 'cause if there's anything that I take away from all of your research and all that we've talked about it's that we've been here before but I guess what I'm really curious about is what happens now and what previous experience tells us about what we should be doing and what we should be preparing for so we have been here before but we don't actually know where we are yet because we don't know how bad of an epidemic? This is actually going to be so it could be that we've been here before. And by the time the dust settles this'll be more or less like SARS or mild flu pandemics where tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people will die. Death of hundreds of thousands of people is a big tragic deal now trying to minimize that and at the desk on the scale of two hundred thousand deaths like annual flu mortality is not a world ending event that we would we would get back to business as usual relatively quickly if this is is more like the great pandemics of the past flu nineteen or Bhubaneshwar plague In the fourteenth century then that could precipitate really dramatic social changes what happened after nineteen eighteen. Well that's complicated. Because that was both the end of a pandemic and the end of a war in the nineteen twenties at least until October. Nineteen twenty nine. Were a great time for this country. Prohibition aside you know the the country boomed and was there something about the post war or post pandemic that had contributed to that boom I. I don't understand economic history well enough to know. Now I very much wish I had said back in early January. Look we're doing it again We're ignoring this epidemic. It's GonNa Spread Out of China. We should really do what we can to prepare for. When that happens by didn't say that I don't think anyone said that you know we were. We were watching. We were hopeful. People were complaining. That China wasn't doing enough but no one was saying America. Get Ready. Yeah exactly you sound like you feel almost a little guilty regret the ad certainly epidemics do end at some point. It Fades Away. Never even is really noticed. There usually aren't celebrations. Life slowly comes back to normal and people wake up one morning and say. Oh that's interesting. I wasn't worried about plague or the plague disrupts my day yesterday. That's interesting things. Get back together and everyone assumes that we will get there but we don't know is whether we will be there in two months or six months or two years and whether that will come at the cost of thousands or tens or hundreds of thousands or a God forbid millions of lives David Jones. Thank you so much for joining me. Yup. Thank you David. Jones is a professor of the history of medicine at Harvard before we go. Here's a little bit about how your friends and neighbors are coping with this social isolation you guys have been calling in and sharing your stories. I love to hear it because we're all getting through in our own way. Hi My name is Kathy and I was in Cleveland Heights Ohio. One thing I've been doing is I've been scheduling virtual copy dates for friends or Coffee OR RUN DOWN TO THE CORNER and Violante we can still get carry out restaurants and coffee shops and then I sit in my kitchen with them and we have a little coffee date either. That's unsure or by phone or face time I meditate. I missed a lot but my favorite is connecting with my friend sitting in my kitchen drinking coffee. Hi Mary. My name is Carl Taylor. I'm from South Indiana past search. That serves the homeless. And I'm going to work because we're part of the services that provide warm shelter for homeless in this case mornings from Monday to Thursday and give them a hot meal showers laundry clothing mail telephone services as part of a network that we have here in South Bend. So I'm continuing to go to work. Even though some staffer staying home we've had to rely more on homeless guests the kitchen and take leadership roles But we're pulling through hi. My name is still pro. My husband my two and a half year old daughter and now three ducklings in the bathtub I went and bought duck links Guess I it was a nice cheerful thing to do. Don't worry take care of them but here we are. Okay say everyone share your story. A let us know how those ducklings workout tweeted me. I'm at Mary's desk or just call two zero two eight two five eight all right. That's the show. What next is produced by Daniel Hewitt Mary Wilson Jason Leone End Mara Silvers Mary Harris? I'll get you back here tomorrow This message is brought to you by discover. You want to hear something. Amazing discover matches all the cash. Back you earn on your credit card at the end of your first year and it's even more amazing because discovers accepted at over ninety five percent of places in the US take credit cards. Learn more at discover dot com slash. Yes two thousand. Nineteen Nelson report limitations apply.

US David Jones Mary Harris China Italy Nelson Trello San Francisco Mike Townsend Charles Schwab Belfer Pandemic Albert Camus Schwab Dot Google Trello Europe California Carl Taylor Charles Schwab
The Fight Over Wisconsins Election

What Next | Daily News and Analysis

24:51 min | 7 months ago

The Fight Over Wisconsins Election

"This episode of what next is supported by Charles Schwab. Staying informed is all about asking the right questions which is why Schwab encourages you to ask questions about the way. Your wealth is being managed. Do you know how much you're paying and do you get your feedback if you're not happy unlike other firms? Schwab offers the industry's only satisfaction guarantee. If you're not happy for any reason the refund your fee and work with you to make things right so go ahead ask your broker some questions. Their answers ask again at Schwab visit. Schwab DOT COM SLASH COMPARIS- to learn more. It's Tuesday April seventh twenty twenty. And if you live in Wisconsin at least at the time we recorded this today. It's election day despite the global pandemic. That's keeping most of us at home right. It said like trying to do the impassable. It's like living a nightmare. Keep asking myself. Am I still alive or possibly be true? Could it Mary Beth whistle bail? She's one of the people trying to carry out this election. She's the city clerk in Madison. I know that you told someone that you're working like a hundred hours a week right now. Yeah how do you even work a hundred hours a week? You become very very grumpy. Mary Beth has been pulling these hours because of what started happening as the election got closer and people are town realized there are going to have to find a way to vote. It's because we were receiving so many absent. He request that it was beyond any of our capacity to process right away by law. Were supposed to have the absence. She in the mail within forty eight hours of receiving the request. So it's like A. It's like a race like you'd get a request and you got two days to get that sucker in the mail. But a couple of Fridays ago our backlog was sixteen thousand emails to process for absentee requests. So Mary Beth had her husband help out at the office. She got her teenage daughter involved. She even trained some out of work librarians to process mail in voter requests. She still couldn't meet the demand by the time. I spoke to Mary Beth on Sunday. Her focus had shifted to getting pulled locations ready. At least the ones she can keep open. She had to shut down about a third of them like the ones in nursing homes because of Kovic nineteen. She was arranging all these work. Arounds like curbside voting an elaborate system involving poll workers and face shields sliding ballots through cracked open car windows then for voters who are entering the polling place. We're asking them to stay succeed apart. We're keeping our poll workers sixteen apart but how many poll workers are going to show up at is the question. Wisconsin's primary election didn't have to be like this. The governor tried to delay it. He proposed mailing ballots to every registered voter so they could vote from home. The legislature rejected these ideas. And that's how Mary Beth got to this point working till two in the morning pressing absentee ballot requests and trying to find plastic face shields for her poll workers. Now she's just hoping those workers actually show up this morning today on the show. We're going to tell the story of how Election Day in Wisconsin got to be such a mess. It's a story about what happens when a pandemic collides with partisan politics. I'm Mary Harris. You're listening to next stick with US after talking to Mary Beth. I wanted to understand why she was still preparing vern election at all so I called up. Slates Marc Joseph Stern. He's been following the pushing pullover Wisconsin's primary when we spoke on Monday afternoon. Things seemed settled. Sort of the election was going forward but there was a dispute about how many people would be able to file absentee ballots. And what would happen if some of those ballots arrived after election day? So let's explain how we got here in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has a democratic governor. But it is definitely swing state with a lot of partisan battles. So how did we get to the point where Wisconsin was even like having this election in the first place because just last month? We're talking about Ohio where I the last minute they were calling the whole thing off so I don't WanNa sound conspiratorial here but I really feel like any realistic conversation about Wisconsin and how it ended up where it is today has to begin with the coke brothers and with and I know I know. Please don't hate me. But what you have to understand is that in the arts the cokes and their allies in their strategist got together and basically decided to pick a state that would serve as the laboratory for all of their ideas and that state was Wisconsin and they needed a governor who would essentially be a puppet for all of their policies. And just do whatever the hell they sat in that puppet with Scott Walker and they needed a legislature that had a sufficiently large Republican majority that Nothing that Walker and the cokes ever proposed would get tanked and they did that by a ruthlessly gerrymandering the state after the two thousand ten census and creating this impenetrable. Gop Wall The the Democrats have not been able to cross over so even when Tony. Eva's won the The governorship in two thousand eighteen. He's a Democrat and he's a democrat. Republicans held fast to the state legislature. Right and their their numbers here were it's like X. percentage of the population voted for Democrats but the legislature. When you look at it looks a little different than not. Yeah so in. Twenty Ten Republicans. Gerrymander the hell out of the state legislature right and they basically pack the blue cities like Madison and Milwaukee. The pact voters into a few districts there and then they spread the rest around the state. So they've got this huge Gerrymander and in two thousand twelve it pays off because in two thousand twelve. Republicans only win forty eight point six percent of the statewide vote in Wisconsin so they don't even win a majority but then that vote translates into sixty out of ninety nine seats and the Wisconsin state assembly. So you've got Republicans winning less than a majority of the vote and capturing a near Super Majority of the state assembly so let's fast forward to now you've got this Democratic Governor Tony Devers. He wants to protect his citizens but at the same time knows that he has to deal with this Republican legislature. Right right and this is where the coke stuff kind of comes back in again not to sound like a conspiracy theorist but after Scott Walker lost his reelection race in two thousand eighteen to Tony Everts the legislature which remained Republican decided that it didn't really think that a democratic governor had a legitimate right to rule and began stripping powers from governor before he took office. I think the way that you put this on the show earlier was Wisconsin is governed by the dead hand of Scott Walker. Yes yes that is exactly correct. Because Republicans basically gave themselves all of the important powers of the governor ship or at least many of the important powers imposing Scott Walker's policies even though Scott Walker himself has no more power and just tweet. Sad pictures of his ham. Sandwich is so in March. Tony vers knows that. He has an election coming up on April seventh. He also knows that. The Corona virus is becoming a major problem and states. All around the country are basically shutting down. So what does he do so either as does not have power to postpone the election that is not a power he has retained and so the Republican legislature is the one holding the cards here and everts decides to try to play? Nice with the Republican legislature. He is a team player. He's a pretty pretty sweet guy and so he sort of goes hand in hand to the legislature and he says look. Why don't we make this an all male election day mostly male election where we pass them? Quick Legislation An implements quick rules. That make sure everyone can easily vote. Absentee people don't have to go to the polls and they won't risk getting the corona virus in order to cast their ballot so we asked the legislature to allow the election to really be all male and like he wanted he wanted ballot sent out to every voter with you know addressed envelopes with stamps on them. So everyone could participate but participate remotely. How did the legislature respond the legislature said in in two words? Hell No. We don't like vote by mail elections. What was their justification? So in the past some Wisconsin officials have been pretty overt about the fact that expanded access to the ballot is bad for Republicans right. You have these occasional stray quips by Republican legislators and operatives in Wisconsin where they say basically we need to suppress votes to make sure we can win but what you have them saying in court. Filings is essentially. This is no big deal. This is a pandemic. But we already had absentee voting. We already had mail in voting mail in balloting. And we don't need to change anything like we can just keep all the rules. The exact same and people can just switch to mail in voting. They want and everything will be totally fine and you could switch to mail in voting pretty late in the process right. Like if I'm Wisconsin voter I could ask for a mail in ballot like last week. I think. Yeah that's right. And if the state had the infrastructure and personnel to prepare for for that possibility then in theory all of this could have been worked out a few weeks ago and I think the state could've run a decently smooth. All male are mostly male election. What happened instead. Oh dear it's still happening. What happened instead. Was that basically. The legislature decided to go to war against both Iverson and a bunch of Democratic officials who were saying we need guidance here and we need some sort of relaxed rules to make sure this all works and Republican said. Everything will be fine. We don't need to change anything with. They weren't thinking about was the fact that a huge number of voters a massive number of voters who had never voted through mail before are now going to be voting by mail and that is going to create a massive titanic backlog of vote by mail applications and there are literally not nearly enough humans in Wisconsin government not nearly enough election officials to process all of those ballots and make the election. Run the way it's supposed to. Yeah because I guess it's all finding good for the Wisconsin legislature to say. Listen you can just file for a mail in ballot but if you're the city clerk in Milwaukee or Madison. You're the person who's going to all of the sudden get thousands and thousands of applications at the last minute to vote by mail and I mean that's a low ball number because as of late last week there were already a million more mail in ballots. Sent out then in two thousand nine hundred ninety spring election. So we're not just talking about double or triple like we're talking about exponentially higher number of mail in ballot requests that the state just simply lacks the personnel to process in time for the April seventh election. Wisconsin also. Has this really intense voter. Id Requirement right. Yeah if you're registering to vote by mail and a lot of people are going to be. That are already did that. You have to upload a photo ID and proof of residency and send it over the Internet and once again imagine a senior citizen of a few means who relied on the library to help her use the Internet and now all the libraries are closed. And she's got a few days to figure out how to upload documentation and she's by herself. That's a pretty difficult thing for a lot of people to meets on short notice. You know. It's interesting when I spoke to that city clerk in Madison. Mary Beth wetzel bail. She talked about this voter. Id Requirement and what it was doing to her at the office and she said first of all immense. She was getting just tons of angry angry calls from people who are asking. Why do you need this? What's going on and then with some people who couldn't figure out what to do instead of sending a picture of a photo. Id or maybe. They didn't have a photo ID. They would send sell fees so she was getting these cell fees from people all over Madison. Saying please let me vote. That's so sad. I mean that's really like the tragic human face of all of these Republican voter suppression measures. You know it's all well and good to say. Oh people can just pick up a free. Id from the DMV after they get their birth certificate and all this other stuff but in practice it often boils down to confused people sending selfish to an overworked clerk saying please let me exercise my constitutional right to vote. Can we talk about? Why this election in Wisconsin matters because part of the reason that the governor didn't WanNa postpone the election was that there were so many things up for election wasn't just the presidential primary. We're talking about city councils seeds and may oral seats all these seats. That could have sat empty. And there's a supreme court seat too. So what are these elections about? Yes so they have more than thirty eight hundred seats on the ballots across the state and that includes nearly sixteen hundred county supervisors and officers Five hundred sixty five school district board positions. Then you've got a lot of lower court judgeships that are open and one of the issues that Iverson noted was you know we. We don't know who can exercise authority in these roles. If we don't have an election these people they're filling terms that have a limited number of years their terms are going to expire. And we don't know who can actually exercise that power anymore so that was a big reason why he didn't want to cancel the election. I think a legitimate reason and a rational reason but by far the most important race that will happen in Wisconsin on Tuesday. Is that State Supreme Court race. Why do you say that because there was constant? Supreme Court is probably the Crown Jewel of the folks effort to remake Wisconsin. I mean the cokes and their their network of donors have poured so many millions and millions of dollars into the State Supreme Court races to install very far right. Reactionary judge is on the Wisconsin Supreme Court and they have succeeded. There's currently five to two conservative majority on the court and if this election swings left and the liberal candidate wins this state Supreme Court election that will go down to a four three conservative. Majority a pretty narrow split and that leaves room for a Democrat liberal to win the next race and turn the court blue flip it create a liberal majority and then that liberal majority can start chipping away at a lot of the extreme stuff that Scott Walker and the Republican legislature have implemented over the last decade or so. So what? Is this going to look like today? I just can't imagine going to vote right now. And many Wisconsin nights cannot either so a couple of things I'll be looking at is basically. How many poll workers simply don't show up to the very few in-person polling places that remain open. I think it's GonNa be fascinating to see if places like Milwaukee and Green Bay Madison can even keep a handful of polling places running because I think a lot of people who are supposed to show up to help are going to be scared you know. They're disproportionately elderly people who work the polls in America. They don't get paid very much. They tend to be people with lots of leisure time on their hands. So old people and they're not going to want to go and face thousands of voters who kind of crush into these these voting places and try not to infect other people are going to say. I'd rather stay home so look for catastrophes on the ground and also look at the election officials who are just swimming in piles of absentee ballots marches stern. Thank you so much for joining me. Sorry I don't have better news for you a few hours after I got off the line with Marc Joseph Stern Wisconsin Governor Eve irs announced. He was suddenly postponing the state's election due to the corona virus Republicans legislature immediately appealed to the State Supreme Court and the court ruled. The election had to go on so I called Mark Back. Can you just lay out exactly what happened here? Oh my God so all right. We got off the phone. I nine hours ago but it feels like it was years ago. I was a younger man. Okay we got off. The phone and Governor Evert issued an executive order that officially postponed the election. He said I am drawing on my legal powers to protect the health and safety of Wisconsin Nights and I am going to delay the election. Cancel in person voting tomorrow and call a special session of the legislature again and ask them to reschedule the election for June. And this is a power that governor had had admitted he did not have right. Yeah he he sort of said like basically. I'm not sure if I have this power that he was sort of playing a little real politique here. I think he recognized. The state has a very conservative and hostile Supreme Court and so he had been saying like I want this to be really clear I want The legislature to change the law. So I don't have to rest on my own shaky powers and he called the legislature into session to a special emergency session to to change the date and then the legislature immediately convened in said. Screw you Tony Evers. Were doing no such thing so he just sort of decided I might as well take a wild swing and see if I can make it work. Nothing to lose right or everything to lose depending on your perspective right Really everything because what ended up happening was Just a few hours after everts issued. This order that Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a four to decision blocking the order. Reinstating Tuesday's election and without explaining its reasoning. Basically saying the show must go on so as of this exact moment there is an election. There is in person voting in Wisconsin. Not many people may be showing up but there is a Wisconsin election on April seventh. So the people who decided that the election was going to go on. They have a way. They want the election to turn out quite absolutely absolutely they have. They openly have a vested interest in this election continuing so that the pandemic suppresses democratic votes and they get to keep their treasured colleague. Dan Kelly on the bench and they have said almost as much in public statements. Okay this conversation. It will drop into people's feeds on Tuesday morning. If I'm waking up in Wisconsin what am I doing? If you're waking up in Wisconsin. I sincerely hope that you cast an absentee ballot. More than a week ago. If you have not yet voted in Wisconsin. I have no idea what to tell you because some campaigns are saying put on your your latex gloves and your face mask and go vote and douse yourself enhance. Sanitizer and other campaigns including mayors who are up for reelection are saying. Don't vote like don't risk your life in order to cast a ballot. It is depressing that we have reached this stage. But you should not risk your health and safety. In order to exercise the franchise so it's like a really difficult. Moral DILEMMA FOR WISCONSIN. I it's and I don't know what I would do. But it's just another reason kind of vivid illustration of why this election should absolutely not be happening right now. Marches of Stern covers the courts and the law for slate minutes. After we got off the phone a second time there was one more. Update this time about how. Many absentee ballots will actually be counted in Wisconsin. Today because legally every ballot has arrived by election day pandemic or no a federal judge had tried to extend that deadline give voters an extra week to send their ballots in but on. Monday evening the. Us Supreme Court struck down that decision to give you an idea of what that means the city clerk. I talked to at the top of the show Mary Beth. She told me this right now. We're looking at thirty eight thousand. Five hundred. Sixty nine absentees. The at risk of having no possibility of being returned by election day. So those thirty eight thousand ballots just wouldn't count rate and that is just in Madison during the last presidential primary in two thousand sixteen. Mary Beth says she got four late ballots. And that's the show if you WANNA call and leave us a message. Tell us how you're doing. We'd love to hear from you. Our number is two zero. Two eight two five eight. Your voicemail will strengthen our reporting you can also find me on twitter. I'm at Mary's desk. What NEXT IS PRETTY BY? Daniel Hewitt Mary Wilson Jason Leone and Mara Silvers. Thanks for listening. I'm Mary Harris. I'll talk to you tomorrow.

Wisconsin legislature Madison Mary Beth Wisconsin Supreme Court Republican legislature Scott Walker Marc Joseph Stern State Supreme Court Supreme Court Wisconsin state assembly Milwaukee Schwab US Mary Harris Charles Schwab Supreme Court Governor Tony Devers