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The growth of coronavirus cases is slowing in Wisconsin, but it has not yet gone over the hump to where coronavirus cases are decreasing in the state.
During the WTMJ Cares Town Hall Tuesday, Governor Tony Evers said he is not yet committing to either extending the current “safer-at-home” order which ends on April 24, or taking steps to open up particular aspects of the economy.
“We’re looking at all options,” he told WTMJ’s John Mercure and Erik Bilstad.
“Clearly, we’re looking at the data, listening to the scientists. We’re making progress. We’re going to get people together and see what we’re going to do with that.”
He said he is “still in conversation” about whether he has the unilateral ability to expand the safer-at-home order himself, or whether he needs approval from state legislators.
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce is among the groups asking for the re-opening of the economy, as job losses are now in double-digit percentages and the economy has entered a recession.
But to Governor Evers, human health and the health of the economy are intertwined.
“One of the reasons we’re doing (safer at home) is to lower the impact on everyone, including businesses. Clearly, when you have a shutdown like this, it’s impacting negatively, but the goal is to get them back up and running as soon as possible. There’s no question that when that time comes, the new normal is not going to look like the old normal,” said Evers.
“It’s going to have to be done in a very thoughtful way…not going to be turning on and off a light switch.”
WTMJ’s news team and our fans asked the Governor through Facebook Live about numerous topics:
About the possible re-opening of schools, and possible summer school:
“We’re not at that point at making that decision,” he said. “When you bring a lot of people together in one place…there are opportunities to get another spurt of problems. We’re weighing all those things.”
“If we get to that point, I believe that schools, they’ve had summer school in the past. If indeed it makes sense to have schools open in the summer, it’s up to individual school districts.”
About the words of President Trump on Monday, where he said he was in control of when states would re-start economies:
“I’m not a constitutional scholar, so I’m not going to take the President on in that way, but the ones who seemingly are say that’s not a correct assessment,” he said.
“I’m not looking to pick a fight with the President. I’m looking to make sure we have healthy people and a healthy economy.”
About when he would be willing to take a plane again:
“It’s going to be a while. We’re at a place where we’re seeing good success. It’s not a lot. Before I get on an airplane, it’s going to be some time,” said Evers.
“That’s a little shaky. I would not have the confidence of doing that personally for some time.”
On the opening of golf courses:
“I’m a golfer. I get this question, but at this point in time, we’re taking a look at the data and seeing if there’s some way to make this happen, but this is a health crisis. Solving some of these other issues take a priority. We are still considering that,” he said.
“Not to belittle golfers here. I’m one of you. Not a very good one.”