Thursday in Whitewater will see occasional rain with a high of 54. Sunrise is 7:25 AM and sunset 5:51 PM for 10h 26m 11s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 53.5% of its visible disk illuminated.
Whitewater’s Community Development Authority meets at 5:30 PM.
On this day in 1726, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels is published.
Kelly Meyerhofer reports UW System will follow federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees:
The University of Wisconsin System announced Wednesday that it will comply with an executive order issued by President Joe Biden more than six weeks ago requiring federal contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We cannot afford to jeopardize millions of dollars in federal contracts, which are integral to our academic and research missions,” interim System President Tommy Thompson said in a statement. “Therefore, we intend to be in compliance with the federal executive order on vaccine mandates.”
The System’s announcement that it would comply with the mandate comes on the last possible day for employees to get their first dose of the Moderna vaccine and be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8, the deadline Biden set in the order. Those receiving the Pfizer vaccine have until Nov. 3 to get their first shot and those getting the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine must do so by Nov. 24.
Biden’s Sept. 9 order has compelled colleges across the country to announce vaccine requirements, even in some conservative states where governors and legislators oppose vaccine mandates.
A large share of employees are already vaccinated at the System’s two research universities, with 95% having received the shot at UW-Madison and 82% at UW-Milwaukee. Unvaccinated employees are required to test weekly, an option that isn’t allowed under the federal order. Employees can request a medical or religious exemption under the order.
Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, blasted the UW System for announcing its intention to follow the federal order. The longtime and vocal UW critic said the System was “trying to hide details of this decision for as long as possible to avoid potential litigation.”
Nass has previously asked legislative leaders to sue the System over what he describes as “excessive” COVID-19 policies, which include mask mandates and mandatory testing for unvaccinated individuals. His calls have not resulted in a public response from Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg.
So Thompson follows Biden’s mandate, and Nass whines to no effect. Here’s an exclusive clip of Thompson reacting to Nass’s concerns:
(Nass, by the way, does not live in Whitewater proper, and his own proposals for the UW System would harm both UW-Whitewater and the city’s economy.)