Skip to content

Governor Evers: Power vs. Pandemic

October 4, 2020

The news across Wisconsin over the weekend concerning COVID-19 continued to be most troubling. Saturday it was reported a new single-day record of 2,892 cases was confirmed. The positivity rate was a sobering 20.5%. The data also shows that the increase in caseloads is being felt in all age demographics, with rural areas of the state now facing the harsh reality of the virus.

Meanwhile, Republican legislative leaders went to court late last week to add their supportive voices in a lawsuit brought against Governor Tony Evers for putting forth another public health emergency, this one to run through November 21st. The indoor mask mandate has created outrage from some quarters in the state, but strong endorsements from medical professionals.

With soaring caseloads, ramped up hospitalizations, economic pain, and unemployed workers seeking federal assistance the last thing we should need deal with during a pandemic is a power play at the statehouse. Yet, that is precisely what is happening.

If the Republicans are correct in their assessment of an over-reach by Evers about the emergency order they have the majority power to hold a session and stop it. But should that happen the public has a right to ask what then? What actions and policy moves will the legislature take to shore up the health care needs in the state, deal with the real angst among the citizenry about this virus, and put in place methods used to slow down its transmission?

Meanwhile, science underscores why strict compliance with wearing masks is of prime importance now, and will only increase as we head into the flu season. Evers has his sights on the long-game as the state battles what is sure to be an even tougher fight by year-end. His efforts at having the public act responsibly now are to prevent health-care workers and hospitals from being overwhelmed later.

The political power play over prudently ordering the wearing of a mask surely looks silly to many Wisconsinites. Evers does not look like a villainous character ready to usurp liberty and betray his oath of office. Nor has he undertaken an action that calls into question his adherence to law and order. Rather he uses data and foresight during this pandemic to do what voters desire from their governor–to lead!

This pandemic, and the means to address it, must not be partisan. After all, our nation is averaging 40,000 cases a day, while state officials say Wisconsin is averaging 2,400 cases a day for the past 7 days The data is so solid regarding what we are battling.

The statistics are so mindboggling, they make us numb to the reality of just how painful, unacceptable and absurd this is, said Dr. Reed Tuckson, board chairman of the nonpartisan Health Policy Alliance in Washington. Every single American must double down on their vigilance. If we dont, then we are being foolhardy and irresponsible.

There is a truism concerning when an elected official meets a moment in history and must act for the greater good. I do not mean to be overly dramatic, but ponder the larger point. Abraham Lincoln knew it. Franklin Roosevelt knew it. George W. Bush knew it. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been reading some history about the Supreme Court and came across a writing from Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes. He sums it up the way I view Governor Evers at this moment in Wisconsin.

“While emergency does not create power emergency may furnish the occasion for the exercise of power.”

Firm leadership in Wisconsin does not mean anything sinister is afoot. Let us keep focused on the true enemy, the virus, and efforts to stop it!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: