‘Republicans haven’t taken COVID-19 seriously from the beginning:’ Governor’s office responds to plans to overturn mask mandate

Wisconsin Republicans Ignore Evers On Virus Response Plan
AMBER ARNOLD

Members of the state Assembly rise for prayer during the first 2021-22 legislative session in the Assembly Chambers at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wis., Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

MADISON, Wis. — A spokesperson for Gov. Tony Evers is responding to the state legislature’s plans to introduce a resolution that would reverse the governor’s statewide mask mandate, saying Republicans in the state legislature continue to hinder the state’s response to the pandemic.

“Ending the public health emergency would eliminate one of the few tools left the state has to mitigate the spread of the virus that is killing our friends, families, and fellow Wisconsonites while we work to distribute the vaccine across our state,” Deputy Communications Director Britt Cudaback said Friday.

A total of 27 Republican lawmakers signed on to a resolution that was introduced Thursday that would undo the current health emergency and mask mandate extension that Gov. Evers made official earlier this week. The mandate is now in effect until March 20th.

The governor’s office continues to point to widespread support across the state for wearing masks, with a Marquette University Law School poll in October showing 72% of respondents believing masks should be required in public places, while 26% disagreed with requiring it.

“Republicans haven’t taken COVID-19 seriously from the beginning, and they still aren’t now more than 280 days since they last sent a bill to the governor’s desk,” Cudabeck said.

Gov. Evers has asked COVID relief to be the first bill the legislature passes in its new session. The governor had reached a bipartisan deal with the state senate earlier this month, only for the assembly to say they would not pass that version of the bill.