Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) criticized Governor Tony Evers’ new “safer at home” order announcement on Monday.
On Friday, Republican leaders announced they had spoken with the governor and no shelter-in-place order was anticipated. On Monday, Evers flipped-flopped without an explanation of what circumstances have changed, calling the shelter-in-place order planned for Tuesday, “safer at home,” instead.
The flip flop prompted a sharp response from the GOP leaders in the legislature.
“The governor’s sudden change of course and lack of specific guidance have increased the level of uncertainty and anxiety in our state,” Vos and Fitzgerald wrote. “The people of Wisconsin deserve clear communications during a public health emergency.”
Even the name Evers gave to the planned order was confusing. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI2), a member of Evers’ party, posted on Twitter his confusion.
Evers’ response to an Associated Press inquiry was almost Clintonian:
Evers’ statements on Twitter at times were reminiscent of a parent grounding a child for not turning in homework:
The following is the statement from Vos and Fitzgerald in its entirety:
The governor’s announcement has created mass amounts of confusion. For days, Governor Evers took a measured approach and reassured business owners that a shelter-in-place order may not be necessary. Legislative leaders even complimented him for it. The governor’s sudden change of course and lack of specific guidance have increased the level of uncertainty and anxiety in our state. The people of Wisconsin deserve clear communications during a public health emergency.
There also needs to be a better understanding as to why the decisions are being made, because of the impact on the economy, businesses and residents of the state.
It appears at the end of the governor’s press conference, there are more questions than answers. We would ask the governor to answer the following questions for the people of Wisconsin:
• What are the metrics that this decision is based on?
• What is considered an essential and non-essential business? How is that being determined?
• What changes need to happen for the order to be lifted?
The governor’s executive order came as a surprise to the legislature. It was a complete reversal from his repeated assurances. It should be noted that legislative leaders have asked on a daily basis whether or not this was the direction the governor was headed, and we were told it was not.
We all want what’s best for Wisconsin. We want people to stay safe and follow CDC guidelines. We would ask the governor to do a better job communicating to the people of Wisconsin.