‘You can’t play politics’: Former Gov. Jim Doyle calls statewide mask mandate critical


MADISON, Wis.– This weekend marked the beginning of the statewide mask order in Wisconsin. It comes after weeks of speculation about whether Gov. Tony Evers would order one and what other leaders might do.

During his two consecutive terms in office, former Gov. Jim Doyle said he never had to make a call like Evers’ mask mask mandate, but he said he did make emergency orders for the safety of people. He said this is no different.

“I’ve been governor. You can’t play politics. You’ve got to be thinking about the health of the people of the state,” Doyle said.

The 44th Governor of Wisconsin called the mask mandate essential to contain the virus.

“It’s great. I think it’s critical. To me, it was just nonsensical that because of the Supreme Court, Wisconsin was the only state in the country that didn’t have some kind of emergency order in place,” Doyle said.

As seen at anti-mask protests around the country, many have said the mask order is restricting their freedom. Doyle said Americans already live with many restrictions for the protection of society.

“Well, we tell people you have to drive on the right side of the street. You know, we tell people you have to stop at a stop sign,” Doyle said. “Those all deny freedom, but we do that because it provides for the safety of other people.”

Earlier this week, Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald announced State Senate Republicans would fight the order.

In Doyle’s professional opinion, Evers is on good, legal ground.

“I’m amazed that anybody challenges this,” Doyle said. “I mean, maybe challenge it in a month if it isn’t working, but shouldn’t we all be trying to make this work right now.”

Doyle added that the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in May did not decide the governor’s power, rather it was the secretary of health’s power that was in question.