MADISON – Today Senate Republicans passed Senate Joint Resolution 3, overturning Wisconsin’s mask requirement, which was in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Senator Jeff Smith (D – Brunswick) released the following statement in response:
“Republicans eliminated our statewide COVID-19 prevention laws without a plan to effectively respond to this public health crisis. We’ve lost 5,753 of our neighbors to COVID-19 here in Wisconsin. When will Republicans put ideology aside and do the right thing?
“The Republican Majority struck down a science-based safety measure supported by a majority of Wisconsinites. This continues a pattern of dangerous, irresponsible politicking. Republicans blocked Wisconsinites from staying safer at home; raised doubt and confusion about the COVID-19 vaccine; and delayed legislative action by taking a 270-day vacation. Republicans owe Wisconsinites a detailed plan to get through this crisis and provide economic relief, since they’ve done everything they can to reject the commonsense measures brought forth by public health experts.
“Last year, our country’s leader claimed COVID-19 was a hoax. We know now the consequence of this disgraceful rhetoric and utter lack of accountability: 421,000 American lives lost to this disease. Republicans continue bending over backwards to appease their base and the leader who got us to this disastrous point in the first place. Republicans must stop downplaying the pandemic, crying over false constitutional claims and perpetuating these harmful conspiracy theories.
“Now is the time to listen to our doctors, nurses and public health officials – not politicians. We are starting to see the beginning of the end of this pandemic, but repealing effective public health precautions will only slow our momentum.”
Public health experts are still reminding individuals to wear a mask to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. A mask should be worn in public, indoor places when someone may not be able to be socially distant from others. In order for masks to be most effective, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises people to choose a mask that has two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric; completely covers their nose and mouth; and fits snugly on one’s face.