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Madison drops coronavirus snitch form

Empower Wisconsin | March 27, 2020

MADISON — Dane County Health officials have taken down a page on their website urging residents to turn in their neighbors for violating Gov. Tony Evers’ social-distancing orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As Empower Wisconsin reported on March 19, the Public Health Madison and Dane County webpage provided a form to “Report a Mass Gathering.” Under the governor’s orders, that would mean a get-together of nine or more people. 

The rat-on-your-neigbhor form was filled with helpful prompts, including options for Type of Mass Gathering. Snitches may select from: Restaurant/hotel/bar; movie theater; Private gathering; Gym/fitness/recreational center; Religious center; or other. 

A city official on Monday told Empower Wisconsin that the form was “too controversial.” 

Indeed it was. 

“And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death,” tweeted Valorie Zurian, citing Matthew 10:21  in response to the citizen informant page. 

Now the webpage no longer exists. 

But police still are receiving complaints from citizen informants. 

“We have responded to complaints of some businesses that some people thought should not be operating,” said Madison Police spokesman Joel DeSpain. 

Meanwhile, there have been reports from northern Wisconsin counties of police pulling over drivers with out-of-state plates and questioning them about their plans and destinations. 

“It’s funny, in this tourism-centered economy ‘southerners’ (people from southern Wisconsin and Illinois) aren’t welcome here,” a source with knowledge of the situation told Empower Wisconsin. 

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