Madison, WI — Senator Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) released the following statement in response to Governor Evers issuing a statewide mask mandate today.

“Once again, Governor Evers has overstepped his authority in an unconstitutional attempt to limit people’s freedoms by issuing this mask order. It is a clear abuse of his emergency declaration powers in an attempt to manufacture fear and panic. This power grab should disturb Wisconsinites as our out of touch governor continues to try and force submission to the heavy hand of government.

The fact is, according to the most recently available data, only 60 people in a state of nearly 6 million people are in the ICU for COVID-19, which means our hospital COVID units are nowhere near being overrun. Wisconsin should be touting that we are beating the virus, and the message should be that there is light at the end of this tunnel. Even though positive tests are increasing, the number of people getting sick from the virus is minimal, and there is currently little threat to our hospital systems.

The main concern has always been ensuring our hospitals have the capacity to treat those that are truly sick. Our efforts have always been targeted at controlling the spread, not eliminating it.

Senate Republicans will be discussing options with our legal team. Once we gain a better understanding, I will be pushing for immediate action to strike down the mandate. It isn’t necessary; it isn’t warranted; and it isn’t backed by the data.

Governor Evers has a pattern of taking unilateral action while fully knowing these actions violate the laws that govern us. Perhaps if we printed the Wisconsin Constitution on a facemask, the governor would finally understand the concept of separation of powers and actually attempt to work with the legislative branch.”

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