PHILADELPHIA — Today, as a more infectious “super strain” of COVID-19 is expected to dominate the U.S. by next month, Republicans in the Wisconsin state legislature repealed the statewide mask mandate instituted by former science teacher Gov. Tony Evers, needlessly risking the lives of constituents. From the beginning of the pandemic, the Wisconsin Department of Health has reported a total of 546,955 coronavirus cases and nearly 6,000 deaths.
Gov. Evers has since issued an additional statewide mandate. But even as the CDC studies whether wearing two masks instead of one would be more effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19, Wisconsin Republicans are running in the opposite direction, abdicating their duty to oversee public health policy and preferring to force the state’s local governments, small businesses, and school districts to implement their own mask mandates.
“By engaging in this dangerous political stunt, Wisconsin Republicans are proving yet again that their conference is short on common sense, willfully denying the reality right in front of them that masks save lives,” said Shaughnessy Naughton, president and founder of 314 Action. “Wisconsin needs strong public health policy, not boneheaded antics from Republicans who are hell-bent on exacerbating this crisis. It’s past time to listen to the scientists and public health experts and stop playing politics with people’s lives.”