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Incredibly Frustrated and Heartbroken


October 22, 2020

Dear Editor,

As a practicing family physician in SW Wisconsin for 28 years, I was particularly troubled by a recent newspaper article that quoted the Chief Medical Officer of the renowned Marshfield Clinic.

“I’m incredibly frustrated and heartbroken”, said Dr. William Melms, talking about Wisconsin’s sky-rocketing number of infections and deaths. Why is it that COVID-19 is spreading faster in Wisconsin than in neighboring Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois, or actually faster than almost any other state in the nation? Warns Dr. Melms, “Our leaders are in a position to powerfully affect public health in this pandemic and the tragedy is that these infections and deaths are preventable”.

I believe he was talking about legislative leaders such as Rep. Todd Novak, who don’t seem to consider health care an important priority for his constituents – minimizing the threat of our health crisis, voting against accepting federal money for Medicaid expansion to help tens of thousands of Wisconsinites, voting against funding for farmers’ mental health coverage, against capping the price of insulin and against increasing mental health grants for schools

Clearly, a change in leadership is long overdue. A candidate such as Kriss Marion, who is running for the 51st Assembly seat, takes healthcare issues with the seriousness they deserve. She believes that reasonable state guidelines based on the best medical advice are essential for dealing with the safe opening of our economy. Her particular concern is for our rural hospitals, which are struggling desperately as a result of the COVID shutdown and need reimbursement. She supports the Affordable Care Act, which is the only legislation in existence that truly protects our healthcare rights.

If you believe as I do that the health and safety of people in our state are paramount, then it is time to vote for a change in legislative leadership.

Ken Valyo, DO,



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