Governor Evers creates new health emergency order | WisCommunity

Governor Evers creates new health emergency order

September 22, 2020 - 11:14am
Governor Tony Evers
Governor Tony Evers

This morning Governor Evers created an e in the state due to the large outbreaks of COVID-19 in young people, particularly college students. He also created an emergency order that in the state. The state has recently seen a 5x increase in COVID cases in 18-24 year olds which appears to be driven by social gatherings. Eight Wisconsin cities are now in the top 20 cities for spread of the pandemic in the US.

“We continue to learn more about this virus, but what we do know is that we are facing a new and dangerous phase of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Wisconsin,” said Gov. Evers. “We are seeing an alarming increase in cases across our state, especially on campus. We need folks to start taking this seriously, and young people especially—please stay home as much as you are able, skip heading to the bars, and wear a mask whenever you go out. We need your help to stop the spread of this virus, and we all have to do this together.”

“The current surge among young people is concerning, but it is important to remember that this increase in cases is not confined to college campuses,” said Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “Students come to these campuses from across the state, and we worry about the effect their return from an area with a high infection rate could have on their home communities. That is why it is imperative we take action to curb transmission now – to protect residents of Wisconsin in every corner of the state.”

The daily number of cases in the state has quickly risien from 678 on August 31 to 1791 on September 21.  This is driven at least in part by the increase in younger people being infected. 

“We need to remember that most respiratory viruses see their peak activity in Wisconsin between late fall and early spring,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Wisconsin’s Chief Medical Officer and the State Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases. “We need to do everything we can now to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prepare for the winter. That is why we need to continue wearing masks and practicing physical distancing. It is also why we encourage everyone to get a flu shot this year; the flu shot cannot protect you from COVID-19, but by helping protect you from the flu, it helps strengthen our COVID-10 response here in Wisconsin by preserving hospital and testing capacity.”

Today's new emergency order and face-covering mandate take place immediately and remain in place for 60 days or until an new order takes their place. The current face mask mandate was scheduled to expire on Monday, Sept. 28.

Rick Esenberg of the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty has said that his group is reviewing the order and considering litigation.

Senator Steve Nass called for an immediate legislative session to overturn the governor's orders. 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has enabled the continuing illegal conduct of Governor Evers in issuing repeated emergency declarations and a failed statewide mask mandate. The Legislature has the constitutional and statutory authority to call an extraordinary session and put an end to the improper actions of the Governor.

I fear that some Republican leaders will now hide behind a court challenge to avoid taking an up-or-down vote on rescinding the Governor’s third Covid-19 emergency declaration. A court challenge could take weeks or months to get a final decision, but citizens would still be under the dictatorial rule of an incompetent Governor.

We can vote to rescind the emergency declaration in extraordinary session and still commence court challenges to the Governor’s abusive actions to prevent future illegal conduct.

I am calling on Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald to immediately call the Legislature back into session to pass a joint resolution ending Governor Evers’ new illegal and unnecessary emergency declaration. The Legislature is empowered to end any emergency declaration issued by a Governor through the simple passage of a joint resolution that doesn’t require the Governor’s approval.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald also released a statement:

Governor Evers’ disregard for the state constitution and the role of the three branches of government is mind-boggling. The Governor’s order is not valid and is not worth the paper it’s printed on.

He has now had two opportunities to unilaterally impose measures he claims fight the spread of COVID-19. He applied these orders statewide, without regard for how the virus is impacting different regions.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court made it clear that if Governor Evers wishes to continue to impose sanctions, mandates, and restrictions on the citizens of this state, he must work with the legislature to do so. That has not happened.

Governor Evers’ order is moot, illegal, invalid, and almost assuredly headed for litigation.” #

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Steve Hanson
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Madison, WI