Wisconsin governor reverses mask decision, and issues new mask mandate

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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) on Thursday issued a new statewide mask mandate almost immediately after the state Legislature voted to repeal his previous order.

Why it matters: Evers’ attempts to combat COVID-19 have faced pushback from Republicans since early in the pandemic. Even with a new order, the Legislature could again vote to repeal the mask requirement.

What he’s saying: “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I promised I would: never play politics with your health, trust and follow science and public health experts, and never stop doing everything I can to keep you healthy and safe. I haven’t broken those promises and I won’t start today,” Evers said in a video released Thursday afternoon.

  • He added that his efforts to protect Wisconsinites have been met with “lawsuits, political rhetoric, and obstruction,” citing the Legislature’s vote Thursday.
  • “We know that as we work to get shots in arms as quickly as we have vaccines available, no amount of vaccine in the world could bring back the lives we stand to lose if we have no statewide mitigation strategy in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.
  • “Wearing a mask is the most basic thing we can do to keep each other safe. Wearing a mask saves lives.”



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