Wisconsin faces a public health nightmare: Officials must simultaneously wage war on COVID-19 pandemic and a parallel "infodemic" of false, misleading and dangerous claims that downplay the seriousness of the disease.
When COVID-19 took root across the United States in early 2020 the illness quickly overshadowed other public health priorities. The effects of this novel coronavirus were identified as grave and far-reaching, and the disease eclipsed a much more familiar threat to human health.
A historically disruptive global pandemic unfolding during an era of deep social and political divisions and widespread distrust in American institutions has led to a swift and fierce politicization of public health.
Short of a cure or effective treatment for COVID-19, something that could take years to develop, state and local health officials in Wisconsin are planning for a future where contact tracing plays a central role in combating the disease.
Is Wisconsin finding more cases of COVID-19 because more people are becoming infected with the virus that causes it, or because more people are being tested for it? Answers to this question are anything but simple.