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.

Has COVID-19 killed more people in Wisconsin than we’ve counted?

By: - August 14, 2020

Wisconsin reached 1,018 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, but a New York Times analysis updated this week suggests that nearly 500 more people have possibly died from the virus but not been diagnosed. In a story published Thursday, the Times, using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC), projected that U.S. […]

Unemployment benefits application (photo by Getty Images)

Why jobless pay didn’t keep people home instead of working

By: - August 14, 2020

Several times this summer, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) has defended his opposition to any new Congressional relief from the economic ravages of COVID-19 by asserting that financial help for people who are out of work from the pandemic keeps them from going back to work. He is not alone. Almost since a federal supplement of […]

NUTLEY, NJ - FEBRUARY 28: A researcher works in a lab that is developing testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus at Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Reports of COVID-19 test shortages spark Baldwin letter to VP Pence

By: - August 12, 2020

In a letter this week to Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) called out the Trump administration for shortages of supplies needed for COVID-19 testing. “The failure of leadership from the Trump Administration is resulting in a rationing of health care in Wisconsin and it is unacceptable,” Baldwin wrote in the letter sent […]

Little traction for Trump memos on unemployment, housing

By: - August 12, 2020

Directives that President Donald Trump signed over the weekend to extend supplemental unemployment benefits and halt evictions are falling flat in Wisconsin — causing “uncertainty and confusion,” according to Gov. Tony Evers, and falling short of what is needed to shore up household incomes in the COVID-19-induced recession. “It’s inadequate,” says Tim Smeeding, who teaches […]

Wisconsin COVID-19 deaths top 1,000; ‘Even one … is one too many,’ says governor

By: - August 11, 2020

Wisconsin marked a grim milestone as the state’s official death toll from COVID-19 reached 1,000 Tuesday, and then kept climbing. The daily statistical report from the Department of Health Services (DHS) listed 1,006 deaths from the virus since it was first encountered in Wisconsin, eight more than Monday’s total. “Even one death from COVID-19 is […]

Customers at a resataurant

COVID-19 continues to sap economic recovery

By: - August 9, 2020

Five months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy — in Wisconsin and the nation — is limping under the weight of the virus. Numbers released on Friday, Aug. 7, showed an increase of 1.8 million jobs in July nationally. “But, because so many jobs were lost in March and April, we are still 12.9 million jobs […]

Health care workers call out lawmakers who want to throw out mask order

By: - August 6, 2020

Frustrated at threats from Republican lawmakers to overturn Wisconsin’s statewide mask mandate aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19, a group of health care workers and supporters told reporters on the steps of the state Capitol on Thursday that the Legislature should set other priorities. The Thursday press conference was organized by nurses and the […]

Concert venue

Show halls seek financial aid in next COVID-19 relief from Congress

By: - August 5, 2020

After going dark in the spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic and anticipating no more public performances for the rest of 2020, independent concert venues mobilized this week to get public backing for federal legislation to rescue them financially. In Wisconsin, 72 independent venues have signed on to the effort, ranging from the Pabst and […]

National Guard poll worker

Wisconsin National Guard mobilized again to help with Aug. 11 election

By: - August 5, 2020

With the state in search of as many as 900 poll workers, Wisconsin National Guard members will be deployed to assist with the partisan primary election on Tuesday, Aug. 11, Gov. Tony Evers announced Wednesday. The number of Guard members to be deployed to support the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) hasn’t been determined. The mobilization […]

Raising again their Raging voices

By: - August 5, 2020

It had been months since they felt they could get together safely. But on Tuesday, Aug. 4, a dozen Raging Grannies decided they could wait no longer to once more raise their voices in song for peace and justice. News of the federal incursion of militarized law enforcement agents in Portland, Ore., propelled them to […]

Children in an elementary school classroom. (Getty Images photo)

Evers says schools will make their own decisions for the fall

By: - August 5, 2020

Gov. Tony Evers reiterated Tuesday that he has no plans to issue a statewide order forbidding schools from holding in-person classes this fall, despite statements to the contrary from Republican lawmakers. Asked at a media briefing Tuesday afternoon about  a statement from Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) voicing suspicion that Evers would “flip-flop” on […]

Baldwin jobs bill gets endorsements from state workforce development groups

By: - August 4, 2020

A U.S. Senate bill to create a long-term program of subsidized jobs for people put out of work by the COVID-19 pandemic has gained support from Milwaukee’s mayor and a collection of Wisconsin social welfare and workforce development organizations. “Millions of Americans are unemployed and struggling to make ends meet, so we need a bold, […]