35% of Employers may Permanently Close; 750,000 Out of Work; No Regionalization

On April 17, state Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) sent a letter with a series of questions to Governor Tony Evers regarding the extension of the Safer at Home order. On April 24, Evers responded to Wanggaard. The following is Wanggaard’s reaction to the governor’s response:

I appreciate the governor sharing his insights into his decision-making process. It is clear that he has put at least some thought into his decision-making. But Evers’ response, as far as it goes, shows the frightening results of his decisions.

It appears that Evers is actively thinking about extending Safer at Home into and possibly through the summer at the cost of almost three-quarters of a million people losing their jobs. Given his admission that the length of “Safer-at-Home” has no impact on lessening a substantial peak overwhelming hospitals, substantially extending the “Safer-at-Home” order makes little sense.

It’s disturbing to know that the governor apparently realizes that his order is costing four times more jobs than the Great Recession, and that he is literally doubling down the Safer-at-Home order.

And yet, despite nearly half of the state’s cases in the last week coming from one county, and mammoth areas of the state with little to no infections, the governor had no response to questions about regionalization as President Trump’s plan allows. And Evers didn’t answer specific questions about why his Badger Bounce Back plan gating criteria has differences from Trump’s Opening America Plan. These differences appear slight in wording, but are substantially more difficult to obtain.

We may all be in this together, but we don’t need to cripple all of us for the epidemic located in a few counties. If we continue with our current strategy much further, Wisconsin won’t be devastated by the virus, it will be utterly demolished by Evers’ response to it.

I urge, and beg Governor Evers and Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm to engage in constructive planning with legislative leadership to start to find a way back to normal and soon. That means actually working with legislative leaders, and not dictating to them in staff meetings once a day.

Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) represents the 21st District in the Wisconsin Senate.

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