Sun. Jun 20th, 2021

Gov. Tony Evers on Friday called for more Wisconsinites to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but said he’s not interested in using the state’s federal stimulus dollars to launch a lottery to promote more vaccinations, such as an Ohio program that will award $1 million each week to an adult who has received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Evers’ opposition to such a program comes after telling reporters earlier in the week he would “never say never” to using federal stimulus dollars to compensate people to get a vaccine.

An Evers spokesperson added later Friday that Evers is still considering general incentives for vaccinations, but that he doesn’t agree with Ohio’s $5 million lottery system that uses existing pandemic funds. In random drawings, Ohio will also provide five full four-year scholarships to an Ohio public university — including tuition, room-and-board and books — to vaccinated residents under 18.

Supporters of President Donald Trump gather at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Friday.

“I just question the use of that money for that purpose,” Evers said. “I think there’s a lot of businesses and others across the state that have suffered dramatically, and $1 million would go a long way to help get small businesses get back in place.”

Increasingly, states and municipalities have come up with a variety of ways to promote vaccinations. New Jersey is offering a “shot and a beer,” Detroit is providing $50 prepaid cards to anyone who drives a resident to a vaccine site, and Maryland is offering a $100 payment.