WASHINGTON – Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned voters heading to the polls in Wisconsin's primary Tuesday to take the needed precautions to stay safe, saying that he knows that people in the past have "died for the right to vote."
"I say as a black man that I know that people have died for the right to vote," Adams said during an interview with the "TODAY" show Tuesday. "This is very important to our entire country, and if people are going to go out there and vote, then please do it as safely as possible."
Wisconsin is holding its primary Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, tried to postpone the election until June 9 and expand absentee voting. However, his executive order was overruled by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
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On Monday, the United States Supreme Court also refused to extend absentee voting in Wisconsin for six days beyond the election. In an unsigned opinion, the justices said that extending voting "fundamentally alters the nature of the election."
“I say as a black man that I know that people have died for the right to vote. This is very important to our entire country, and if people are going to go out there and vote, please do it as safely as possible,” @Surgeon_General says when asked about Wisconsin primary pic.twitter.com/1jXI6EZLmD
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 7, 2020
Adams warned those going to vote Tuesday should stand six feet apart and to wear a cloth face covering "to protect your neighbor." According to some videos posted online of polling stations in Milwaukee from reporters on the ground, voters are tring to follow those guidelines, with many wearing face masks.
"If you're going to exercise your right to vote, then please do it as safely as possible," Adams said.
Contributing: Molly Beck and Patrick Marley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
— Mike De Sisti (@mdesisti) April 7, 2020
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: Surgeon General urges Wisconsin voters to take precautions