Governor Evers’ extension on the mask mandate brings mixed reaction from area leaders

NOW: Governor Evers’ extension on the mask mandate brings mixed reaction from area leaders

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- While Governor Tony Evers’ extension of the statewide mask mandate is receiving mixed reactions from area leaders, a majority of residents we spoke to seem to be okay with the change. The emergency order extends the mask mandate to Nov. 21. It was set to expire this month.

A majority of people tell CBS 58 they are for the governor’s extension on the mask mandate, in fact some say it should go as long as the pandemic is happening, but some leaders believe it’s just another power grab by the governor.

“I’m totally for it, it can continue on as long as the pandemic goes on,” said a Waukesha County resident.

Most of the Waukesha and Milwaukee County residents interviewed were happy to find out the mask mandate was extended.

“Just do it, save people’s lives, wear the mask,” said Sandy Wszalek of Milwaukee.  

“The place that blows my mind the most is the grocery store, when I see people my age in there not wearing them, what’s wrong with them?” said a Waukesha County resident.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett applauds the extension of the mask mandate during a time where cases are reaching unprecedented levels.

“The mask mandate that the governor extended today, I just really wish we would change the way we look at this instead of looking at this as a political issue,” said Mayor Barrett.

“Numbers are going up, we got to do everything we can to keep things going in the right direction or change them in the right direction,” said a Waukesha County resident.

Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann, who opposed the governor’s emergency order in July, says the extension is overreach and the governor failed to have a collective approach before passing the emergency order.

“What I’m concerned with is you don’t throw the Constitution out at the same time you’re battling the pandemic, and so there’s a collaborative way for us to work together and that’s what I’m calling on the governor and the legislature to do,” said Schoemann.

“I think of course there are going to be people that are opposed, it’s really sad that it’s become politicized, I think it should just make sense that it’s a public health initiative, it isn’t about politics,” said Wszalek.

The Milwaukee County executive says the mask mandate is a way for the community to work together toward reducing the spread.

“Whether folks like it or not, we have to be accountable for one another,”  said David Crowley, Milwaukee County executive.

“I think mask-wearing is patriotic, because it’s not just about you, it’s about other people,” adds Mayor Barrett.

Despite differing opinions, area doctors say there is more than enough evidence masks are an effective tool to curb the spread.

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