Erik Gunn

Erik Gunn

Deputy Editor Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary.

Minority Leader Gordon Hintz speaks on the Assembly floor 1/25/21 in favor of a bipartisan compromise on a COVID relief bill. (Via WisEye.)

Mask requirements and COVID-relief compromise lose in the Legislature

By: and - January 27, 2021

Two weeks ago the Republican-led state Senate and Gov. Tony Evers reached a bipartisan compromise on a COVID-19 relief bill, setting aside the controversial elements from a partisan Assembly bill and passing something the governor signaled he was willing to sign. Tuesday, the Assembly’s Republican majority had that deal in front of them for a […]

Mass transportation - masks required bus

Groups urge lawmakers to keep governor’s mask order

By: - January 25, 2021

With the state Senate poised to take up a resolution Tuesday that could kill the state’s current COVID-19 health emergency — and the mask requirement ordered by Gov. Tony Evers — several organizations are calling on lawmakers to back the governor. The organizations are urging a ‘no’ vote on Senate Joint Resolution 3, introduced last […]

Gov. Tony Evers

UPDATED: Governor responds as GOP lawmakers move to block COVID-19 measures

By: - January 22, 2021

Updated Jan. 22, 2021, 4:27 P.M. After repeatedly complaining about emergency declarations that Gov. Tony Evers has issued in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Republican lawmakers for the first time have begun formal action to block him. Senate Republicans introduced a joint resolution Thursday that would undo the governor’s most recent COVID-19-related emergency executive […]

A Covid-19 vaccine vial and a syringe (Getty Images)

Vaccine bills get public hearing; DHS says they duplicate work underway

By: - January 21, 2021

Two bills that would impose new requirements on the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program sailed through an Assembly Health Committee public hearing Wednesday and could head to the Assembly floor as soon as next week. One measure, AB-4, requires the state Department of Health Services (DHS) to expand the category of professionals authorized to administer vaccines […]

COVID 19 vaccine gloved hand holding vial

Assembly Republicans want wider COVID-19 vaccine distribution — regardless of availability

By: - January 20, 2021

Ratcheting up attacks on the Evers administration’s handling of the COVID-19 vaccine, Assembly Republicans have proposed two bills that would make an end run around the state’s vaccine distribution plan. Neither bill would address what state officials have said is the fundamental bottleneck that has been slowing down the distribution of vaccine — the limited […]

COVID-19 mask spray painted in black on white wall

New health emergency and mask order comes with new vaccine channels

By: - January 17, 2021

Gov. Tony Evers announced a new 60-day health emergency on Friday, while also extending the statewide mask order, in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The order came as the latest numbers for confirmed infections as well as deaths from the novel coronavirus showed another downward trend, although Wisconsin continues to report “unacceptably high levels […]

Male caretaker helping senior man with walker in nursing home

AARP Report: COVID-19 deaths rose, but cases fell, in nursing homes through mid-December

By: - January 15, 2021

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin nursing homes fell slightly in the four weeks ending Dec. 20, but the rate of deaths from the pandemic increased, according to new data released this week. In its monthly report on COVID-19 in nursing homes, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) said there were 2.7 deaths per […]

COVID-19 CDC illustration

Faster-spreading COVID-19 virus strain shows up in Wisconsin

By: - January 13, 2021

A variant of the virus responsible for COVID-19 has emerged in Wisconsin, the state health department announced Wednesday — one that first appeared in England and seems to spread more easily than the original virus. Both are strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, an infection primarily of the upper respiratory system. The resulting […]

Gov. Tony Evers gives his State of the State speech 1/12/21 (WisEye)

GOP lawmakers turn a cold shoulder to Evers special session call for unemployment upgrades (Updated)

By: - January 13, 2021

Updated 1/13/2021, 4:25 PM Making good on one of his State of the State promises, Gov. Tony Evers unveiled bills Wednesday to revamp the state’s beleaguered unemployment insurance system and issued an executive order calling for a special session of the Legislature to begin on Tuesday, Jan. 19. But Republican leaders in the state Legislature […]

Evers, Senate Republicans reach a deal on COVID-19 bill

By: - January 12, 2021

With a surprise last-minute deal, the state Senate passed its slimmed-down legislation responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with only two dissenting votes Tuesday, teeing it up for the Assembly to pass and Gov. Tony Evers to sign. The bill won Evers’ support after an amendment was added that narrowed the centerpiece of the bill — […]

Members of the state Senate 2019

Republicans dare Evers to veto their COVID bill

By: and - January 12, 2021

The stripped down state Senate COVID-19 response bill that was given a public hearing on Monday has shed many of the controversial provisions from the Assembly version that passed the lower house last week. Gone are bans on mandatory vaccines for employment, required school board supermajority votes to convene virtually, prohibitions against closing houses of […]

The science on COVID-19 and the classroom

By: - January 11, 2021

As a new semester gets underway, conflicts continue over whether schools can safely return to in-person instruction as COVID-19 remains widespread. But in the face of assertive claims from lawmakers and others that face-to-face teaching is safe in the pandemic, the scientific evidence and the perspective of some epidemiologists and public health practitioners is much […]