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Rep. Jordan: UW game shows “real America” is over COVID-19 safety protocols

After nearly two years since the last time they set foot inside the stadium, fans said there is...
After nearly two years since the last time they set foot inside the stadium, fans said there is nothing like the atmosphere of a Badger football game.(WMTV/Leah Doherty)
Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 3:19 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - One of the most conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives is pointing to the University of Wisconsin – and, specifically, Camp Randall this weekend – as a sign that many Americans are ready to move on from COVID-19 safety protocols.

With video of the Badgers home rattling during ‘Jump Around’ ping-ponged across social media since Saturday, earning both praise and derision in many comment sections – Rep. Jim Jordan re-tweeted Barstool Sports video, adding the comment “Real America is done with #COVID-19. God bless!’

In less than two hours, the Republican congressmember’s tweet was retweeted nearly 1,000 times and picked up over 5,000 likes.

To note, Barstool Sports’ original tweet included no political nor coronavirus references, simply containing the video and a note how it’s the first time UW fans were able to do that in two years, describing the scene as “absolute electricity.”

While the tweet is slightly cryptic, it appears to indicate he sees the Badger fans shown filling Camp Randall did not feel the need to strictly follow COVID-19 protocols.

To be sure, UW had implemented restrictions designed to hamper the spread of COVID-19 inside the stadium, including implementing an indoor mask mandate, and strongly encouraging fans to wear face coverings outdoors as well.

Additionally, contact-less ticket entry and card-only concession payments were touted as way to limit contact.

Jordan did not expound further on his comments nor his description of UW fans as the so-called “Real America,” however he has been a vocal critic of many pandemic-related safety measures. Less than a day earlier, he tweeted, “vaccine mandates are un-American.”

While the UW System does not have a COVID-19 vaccine mandate – or a mandate for any other vaccine – the university reported last week that more than nine in ten members of the UW-Madison community is fully vaccinated against coronavirus.

On top of that, Camp Randall’s home, Dane Co., has consistently led the state in vaccination rates, with just under 70 percent of the county having completed their vaccine series. That number jumps to more than 8 in 10 residents when only adults are counted.

Jordan was not the only conservative Republican taking aim at UW over the crowds at Camp Randall during the Badgers loss to Penn State. State Sen. Steve Nass, who represents the 11th district, called UW hypocritical for the UW System wanting the authority to develop its own COVID-19 safety protocols for campuses while allowing large crowds at Camp Randall.

In an open letter to fellow state lawmakers, Nass contended that those in attendance were allowed to make their own decisions on how to protect themselves from COVID-19. In doing so, he argued that was contrary to UW’s policy that all students, employees, and visitors wear masks when in campus buildings, despite a similar indoor mandate extending to the Badgers’ stadium.

NBC15 News has reached out to UW-Madison and UW-System for comment and will update this story when more information becomes available.

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