MILWAUKEE – Upon passage of Senate Joint Resolution 3 by the Assembly, which immediately rescinds the current COVID-19 public health emergency and Governor Tony Evers’ mask mandate, State Representative Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement:
“Today’s cruel action is yet another shameful, irresponsible, and life-threatening GOP temper tantrum. In what world can anyone believe this is actually a good idea? We are still in the middle of a pandemic which has already killed more Americans than died in World War II, and Republicans think that now is the time to be giving up? If anything, measures around the world have proven that we should be doing more to slow down the spread of COVID-19! Yes, vaccines are beginning to roll out, but we aren’t nearly close enough to the widespread immunity we need to begin thinking about rolling back protective measures, and on top of that we’re facing down new, more transmissible variants of this virus. Without an ounce of hyperbole, I can confirm that today’s unconscionable decision will cost lives here in Wisconsin.”
Senate Joint Resolution 3, first passed by the Senate last Tuesday, unilaterally ends Gov. Evers’ COVID-19 public health emergency and repeals Wisconsin’s accompanying mask mandate. The resolution, supported by none and publicly opposed by no less than 59 statewide organizations (including school organizations, business organizations, and over two dozen health-related organizations), will hamstring COVID-19 mitigation efforts across Wisconsin and will deprive the state of a critical public health tool as we continue to combat this pandemic. Furthermore, ending the current public health emergency via SJR 4 threatens to cut Wisconsin off from almost $50 million in emergency federal supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) funds per month, threatening food benefits for 242,000 low-income families.
“To advance this resolution now, rather than any of the hundreds of days last year that Republicans refused to come to Madison, just shows how nakedly political, cynical, and cowardly this move is. They knew that this move would be unpopular with the vast majority of Wisconsinites, and so they waited until after the election to pull this, because they knew that doing so beforehand would have cost them at the ballot box.
So congratulations, Wisconsin Republicans. You got to throw your deadly tantrum, and the whole world was there to watch. Now, you own what comes next.”