(Sun Prairie) – State Rep. Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie) released the following statement in support of Governor Tony Evers statewide mask mandate:
Mandating masks is a tough decision. Americans do not generally like being told what to do. However, we are now six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and the numbers are continuing to get worse. Wisconsin now has the third highest infection rate in the country. Something must be done to protect Wisconsinites. Governor Evers’ mask mandate is a step in the right direction.
I am glad that there is a leader in this state that is willing to take actions to protect Wisconsin citizens. If legislative Republicans, who have the majority in both the State Assembly and State Senate, had been willing to so much as meet to discuss options at any point since April 15, we might not be in a position where we need a statewide mask mandate. They were completely unwilling to do that. Republicans have absolutely, shamefully abdicated their leadership roles. Instead of meeting to hash out any differences that they might have with the governor’s approach, Republicans are spending all of their time complaining and campaigning.
It is a pitiful display of partisanship to sit on the sidelines, complain, and then run to the courts to have them do what you are unwilling (but able!) to do. Legislative Republicans are using the courts as an arm of their party operation. They have completely undermined what an impartial judiciary is supposed to be. Right now, Republicans in Wisconsin have the authority to end the mask mandate if they want to; they instead use the courts, because they do not want to expose their members to a difficult vote. Being a leader is about making tough decisions. Governor Evers is willing to make these tough decisions.
Governor Evers is willing to do what it takes to keep Wisconsinites safe- even if that means taking tough, potentially unpopular positions. One of the roles of government is to ensure the safety of constituents. Over the last six months, Governor Evers has made that a priority. He is listening to medical experts on best practices and the most effective ways to keep people safe. I appreciate his approach, and am grateful that he has prioritize the health and safety of the people of Wisconsin.