In a new Message of public interest to air on Wisconsin TV starting this week and to share with POLITICO, Walker and Doyle some two-way jokes.
“Let’s do an ad together reminding the people of Wisconsin how important it is to get the vaccine,” Walker says in the ad.
“This might be the best idea you’ve ever had,” Doyle replies.
The two have joined as officials in Wisconsin – like many battlefield states that are ideologically divided – are trying to reach groups of the population who have resisted vaccination.
“It’s not a political issue. It doesn’t invoke Trump, Biden, Fauci or anyone else, ”Walker said in an interview. “It’s just the two of us saying ‘Hey, we agree. We think it’s a good idea to get the vaccine.
UW Health, an academic medical system affiliated with the University of Wisconsin that originated the public service announcement, has decided to shut down the announcement as the state attempts to address a sharp disparity in vaccination rate in different counties. In Wisconsin, some counties have vaccination rates below 30% while others are approaching 70 percent.
As in other parts of the country, percentage rates are low in both rural and urban Wisconsin, which represents a hesitation across the ideological spectrum. Most publicly available data shows that the constituency least likely to get vaccinated in America is that of Trump supporters. In Wisconsin, it was not helped by the fact that the state’s most prominent Republican elected official, Senator Ron Johnson, expressed skepticism on the need for people to get vaccinated quickly.
But African-American communities, which mostly vote Democrats, have also experienced lower vaccination rates. In Wisconsin, a part has been awarded access to the vaccine, although disinformation campaigns were also cited.
“We knew we were going to have a significant population of vaccine-hesitant individuals on the right and left where politics was at least partially a factor,” said UW Health spokesperson Tom Russell. “We thought that a weird ad might be a good way to break down some resistance to getting the vaccine and show that it really is something that is good for all of Wisconsin.”