Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley takes over county response to COVID-19 pandemic

NOW: Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley takes over county response to COVID-19 pandemic

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - County Executive David Crowley has taken office in the middle of a pandemic.

“This is my first daily briefing, so bear with me,” said Crowley during the daily teleconferences held by county and city leaders.

It’s a daily task that his predecessor used to affirm his commitment to keep non-essential businesses closed until the threat of COVID-19 is under control. But will Crowley follow the same path?

“We want to continue to flatten this curve, but we have to continue to focus on social distancing,” he said.

“I can say that you picked probably one of the most challenging times to ever assume a new role,” Mayor Tom Barrett told him Monday.

Mayor Barrett is no stranger to the challenges of handling his pandemic, he has spent every day of the past two months dealing with it.

“We all want to work with you to make sure that if you’re successful, the county is successful, all the 19 communities in Milwaukee County are successful,” said the Mayor.

But what success looks like is different for everyone. There is a growing push to reopen businesses.

It’s something the previous executive wouldn’t do, and Crowley says he won’t either.

“I think that we have to continue to have our businesses closed, but its extremely important that when we look at reopening our economy that you have government, you have business, as well as our public health officials and medical providers at the table to see what that looks like,” said Crowley.

He also wants to keep a focus on the areas being hit hardest by the pandemic. “We have to continue to talk about the racial disparities and health outcomes that we generally see,” he said.

Taking over a new job is never easy, and is unimaginable in the middle of a global crisis, but Crowley says he has a clear blueprint to follow. 

“We want to make sure we have one message for everybody, no matter what zip code you live in,” said Crowley.

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