After nearly two months of lockdown under Governor Evers ‘Safer at Home’ policy and
the closing of thousands of businesses statewide leaving hundreds of thousands
without jobs, the time has come for the order to be lifted.
Governor Evers told us the goal of his unprecedented shutdown of the state’s
economy was to ‘flatten the curve’ as to keep our healthcare system from being
overwhelmed with COVID patients. According to Wisconsin’s own Department of
Health Services as of today, there are fewer than 335 COVID patients throughout the
entire state of Wisconsin which has a total population of nearly 6 million residents. A
$24 million emergency hospital facility at State Fair Park never saw a single patient and
remains empty, as do hundreds of hospital rooms across the state of Wisconsin in
anticipation of a wave of COVID patients that thankfully never materialized.
To date, the number of unemployed in our state approaches a staggering 500,000
people which equates to an unemployment rate of nearly 18% which continues to
grow every week. The governor’s prohibition on economic activity has cost Wisconsin
business owners and its residents tens of millions of dollars in lost income. A
continued lockdown will unnecessarily cause permanent harm to thousands of
businesses and it will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost tax revenue for the
state and municipalities, thus stressing school budgets and vital social services.
Out of an abundance of caution and prudence, the IBAW membership supported
efforts to protect Wisconsin citizens at a time when there was tremendous uncertainty
about the potential impact of this virus on our population. Thanks to the diligent work
of our medical community and members of state & federal health departments, we
have learned much in the many weeks since Governor Evers’ order was issued. We
believe the facts very clearly support the reopening of our economy. Business owners
and citizens alike are keenly aware of the measures necessary to mitigate risk for the
most vulnerable among us.
We urge both the governor and the state legislature to trust the citizens of Wisconsin
to carefully and responsibly return to our daily activities with safeguards in place. We
ask that the order be lifted immediately so that the people of Wisconsin can get our
economy moving again.