Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 11, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Insisting that 5,000 Wisconsinites could be dead from Covid-19 by Jan. 1, Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday gloomily announced he is issuing Executive Order 94, “advising” residents “to stay at home to save lives.”
In essence, it’s a voluntary lockdown from a liberal governor who complains he’s been “hamstrung” by a state Supreme Court that struck down his overreaching health czar’s extended lockdown order earlier this year.
In his COVID-19 address Tuesday evening, Evers did not issue any further orders or directives restricting customers at restaurants, taverns and stores. An appeals court panel last week sided with a tavern seeking a restraining order against the administration’s order capping public gatherings to 25 percent capacity.
The Democrat urged Wisconsin to put politics aside and come together to beat the spread of COVID-19, and then he went on to attack his political opponents and the conservative-led Supreme Court. The court’s refusal to allow the executive branch to break state law and unilaterally curtail individual liberties is to blame for the reported 2,395 coronavirus deaths statewide, as of Tuesday, Evers claimed.
Since the ruling, the governor asserts, “Wisconsin has become a national hot spot” for COVID. It’s a specious argument. Lots of states led by liberal governors have been hot spots over the period. Southern states that opened up their economies early and saw case spikes have reported much-improved numbers. Other Midwest states are experiencing escalating rates of infection and rapidly filling hospital beds, too, as the seasonal cold and flu season gets under way.
Evers, whose administration issued a lockdown last spring that decimated Wisconsin businesses and claimed hundreds of thousands of jobs, said each day the virus goes unchecked is a setback for the state’s economic recovery.
“Our bars, restaurants, small businesses, families, and farmers will continue to suffer if we don’t take action right now—our economy cannot bounce back until we contain this virus,” the governor said.
His public gathering order, challenged in court, was hitting restaurants and bars particularly hard while it was in effect.
The governor warned that it’s “not safe to go out, it not safe to have others over … And it might not be safe for a while yet.”
How long is a while? Evers didn’t say.
“So, please, cancel the happy hours, dinner parties, sleepovers, and playdates at your home. And if a friend or family member invites you over, offer to hang out virtually instead,” he said.
Mr. Voluntary Lockdown is calling off the holidays, too. His administration recommends that you plan to celebrate by the old science-themed holiday tree with just your own household.
“You can still invite others to join virtually, but we advise you not to go to any gatherings with people who are not in your immediate home,” Evers said.
The governor also said he will be introducing another round of COVID-19 response legislation, but he was short on specifics.