Dane County Republican Party reacts to Trump illness

MADISON (WKOW) -- A Dane County Republican leader says President Donald Trump contracting COVID-19 might convince some of the president's supporters to take the virus more seriously.

"As soon as somebody you know comes down with an illness, it makes it all the more real for you, whatever that may be," Dane County GOP Chair Scott Grabins said Friday. "I do think some of that will affect people to a degree."

Throughout the pandemic, the president has frequently questioned and tried to downplay the severity of the pandemic. He has also continued to hold large rallies, often without attendees wearing masks or social distancing.

Grabins said he was shocked to hear Friday morning that Trump tested positive for the virus. However, even after the president had to cancel rallies planned in multiple Wisconsin cities Saturday, Grabins said local party groups were keeping up their work.

"We still have a job to do," he said.

The Dane County Republican Party is planning a rally at the Capitol Saturday afternoon.

Grabins said people are "welcome" to wear masks, but he said the party doesn't have the power to require mask wearing.

Even as the number of COVID-19 cases in the state continues to tick up, Grabins said he doesn't think people should have to alter their daily routines.

"You should be able to continue on with some of these normal things that we do in life, some of the normal things we do in politics and not just hunker down and be afraid at home, as long as you take those reasonable precautions," he said.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm said it's important for people to continue to avoid large gatherings because of the potential they have for spreading the virus.

She said the president testing positive should serve as a reminder that no one is safe from getting sick.

"It speaks to the widespread community transmission we are seeing here and across the county and need for all of us together to take the steps and actions that we need to reduce the spread," she said.

More at WKOW 27 News

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