Governor Evers Is Wrong To Extend “Safer at Home”

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The Permanent Damage That Extending “Safer at Home” Order Will Inflict On Our Families, Friends And Neighbors Is Not Supported By Science Or Common Sense

We Need To Reopen Wisconsin Now


(Madison) – In reaction to the surprise announcement that Governor Tony Evers was extending his shelter-in-place order, known as “Safer at Home”, to May 26, the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy criticized the governor’s decision and asked Wisconsinites to consider the science and the facts before agreeing to these further restrictions.

On April 16, Gov. Evers issued a press release directing Wisconsin Department of Health Services Acting Secretary Andrea Palm to the extend the Safer at Home order from ending on April 24 to ending at 8 a.m., Tuesday, May 26. Emergency Order #28, further restricts our rights and upends the Wisconsin way of life. The new order will force us to remain at home, cause our fellow Wisconsinites significant hardship, shutter an untold number of businesses that are already struggling and cripple Wisconsin’s economy.

Steve Fettig, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, issued the following statement:

“Governor Evers has not been honest with the people of Wisconsin regarding our COVID-19 response since day one. His model predicting 22,000 infected and up to 1,500 dead by April 8 was built on false data and was used to deliberately scare Wisconsinites and justify the unnecessary, one-size-fits-all, statewide shelter-in-place order. The order was supposedly necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed. 

‘Wisconsin has never experienced a surge because we are not New York City nor northern Italy. While any loss of life is tragic, the COVID-19 curve in Wisconsin has been flat for some time. We have plenty of beds available in our hospitals, and our health care system is managing the treatment and care of the COVID-positive population. 

“Wisconsinites need to ask themselves, if Wisconsin has not experienced a surge, why is Gov. Evers extending the statewide shelter-in-place order? If the true intent is to make sure that hospitals are capable of caring for the sick, we should be focusing our efforts on mobilizing people and removing barriers that otherwise restrict creative responses to the unknowns that may take place. 

“We must consider the damage our COVID-19 response is doing to our family, friends, and neighbors. Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites are out of work and countless small businesses have been forced to close. Entire families are seeing their lives ruined. 

“Unlike the average person suffering from these misguided edicts, the Governor’s staff and many state bureaucrats are insulated from the same pain that their fellow community members are enduring – struggling to pay basic bills, put food on their tables, and care for their children. Again, while the loss of life to COVID-19 is tragic, the loss of jobs and loss of community has already had a much greater impact on the lives of our families then the disease itself. Wisconsin has never put elected authority ahead of its own people, why are we doing so now?

“Gov. Evers and acting Sec. Palm have made clear that they are all too willing to insult the character and intelligence of Wisconsinites on the basis of projections that have proven false time and time again. They chose to extend an order whose premise was wrong from day one and whose frightening forecasts never come to be. Gov. Evers is making mistake after mistake by not trusting Wisconsinites’ ability and creativity to engage with one another, commune with one another, and help their families, friends, and neighbors in a safe and reasonable manner.

“If Gov. Evers is unwilling to reconsider the extension order, Wisconsinites need to make their voices heard and let the governor know that we will not let this stand. Remember: we grant Gov. Evers the authority under which he operates, not the other way around. 

“Anyone who cares about the well-being of their fellow Wisconsinites, anyone who cares about our great state, and anyone who cares about the Wisconsin we leave for our children and our grandchildren needs to speak up now. Gov. Evers’ and acting Sec. Palm’s edicts are destroying our future by putting predictions and guesses ahead of what we know to be the truth. We must fight for our future. We must fight for our Wisconsin. 

The best way to unshackle Wisconsin from this nightmare is for Wisconsinites to take back our rights and to take back our freedom to care for our own families and communities. We need not be afraid of one another in a time of crisis. We need to bind together and help everyone move forward.”

Steve Fettig is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy. He can reached at