The Governor of the State of Wisconsin says the game plan he and his Democratic administration have come up with for guidelines to re-open Wisconsin businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is based on the guidelines of the administration of a Republican political opponent, President Donald Trump.
“I accept that the biggest Republican in the country, his plan…it’s a rational plan. If the state Republicans don’t think Donald Trump’s plan is appropriate, they can deal with Donald Trump,” said Governor Tony Evers on WTMJ’s Steve Scaffidi Show about the Badger Bounce Back plan.
“It uses metrics to determine how we’re doing, metrics that are nationally accepted…from the CDC and the White House. It was developed by people who have been monitoring this for a long, long time. I feel confident about the plan.”
The Governor believes the majority of the state is on board with the plan, which uses data from coronavirus testing to decide when to re-open more businesses in the state versus establishing deadline dates, which some trade associations have called for.
“This is the way we move our system forward. This is a 24-7 war against the virus, to get us to a point where we can start opening up businesses in the state,” said the Governor.
“It’s going to be slow. It’s going to be thoughtful. It’s going to be measured.”
Evers cited numerous increases in testing that are coming, and he also says about 1,000 state employees will be focusing on contact tracing for those who have contracted the virus.
“We’re really moving this from boxing in people to boxing in the virus. We still have to have the ‘Safer at Home’ piece going on.”
He said his goal is “finding some businesses that can open safely. I’ve been working with business leaders across the state. They’re anxious.”
Evers responded to many who have said that northern counties which have not had positive tests should re-open business sooner. He cited concerns which explain his reticence to do so.
“I hear that all the time. They do have few cases, but it doesn’t mean the virus isn’t there. 85 percent of the time, the virus is not recognized,” said the Governor.
“If there is a surge in a northern county, they have the least resources to contain it…and the largest percentage of people in that vulnerable area, people who are ‘up there’ in age.”
The Governor also said that statewide, as low as the increases in cases have become, they still don’t show a flattened curve in the state.
“We haven’t. We’re getting there. It’s becoming apparent that we’re getting there, but not only do we need to flatten the curve, we need to decline it.”
The steps toward full re-opening of the state also include re-opening schools – which can’t happen until the fall. That, Evers said, is his goal – but only if it is safe.
“Even though children are least susceptible…schools themselves, you have adults doing the teaching, custodial work, so much interaction…we have to be very careful,” said the Governor.
“We are shooting for a regular school year next year. Obviously, it’s going to look different. We can’t afford much more reduction in education.”
In the end, the Governor sums up the plan as one being implemented in a bipartisan way nationally, and he is following suit.
“This is the best possible way to do this. The business people we talked to are with us on this. There are going to be detractors every step of the way. But at the end of the way, this is a 24-7 war,” said Evers.
“I feel confident we’ll be successful.”