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Axios

Wisconsin governor points masks mandate after state GOP kills earlier order

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) on Thursday issued a brand new statewide masks mandate almost instantly after the state Legislature voted to repeal his earlier order.Why it issues: Evers’ makes an attempt to fight COVID-19 have confronted pushback from Republicans since early within the pandemic. Even with a brand new order, the Legislature may once more vote to repeal the masks requirement. Be sensible: join FREE for probably the most influential e-newsletter in America.What he is saying: “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I promised I would: never play politics with your health, trust and follow science and public health experts, and never stop doing everything I can to keep you healthy and safe. I haven’t broken those promises and I won’t start today,” Evers stated in a video launched Thursday afternoon. * He added that his efforts to guard Wisconsinites have been met with “lawsuits, political rhetoric, and obstruction,” citing the Legislature’s vote Thursday. * “We know that as we work to get shots in arms as quickly as we have vaccines available, no amount of vaccine in the world could bring back the lives we stand to lose if we have no statewide mitigation strategy in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin. * “Wearing a masks is probably the most primary factor we are able to do to maintain one another protected. Wearing a masks saves lives.”Context: 5,992 people have died from the virus in Wisconsin to date, per state data. Now, coronavirus variants pose fresh risks. The previous mandate remained in effect since August. * Republicans, who control both the state Assembly and Senate, argue that Evers overstepped his authority by extending the mask mandate without legislative approval. * The governor says that the unusual circumstances posed by the pandemic give him the authority to issue such orders.The big picture: Health experts have urged states to adopt mask mandates as the U.S. counts 26.6 million cases, per Johns Hopkins University. * “Adopting common masking insurance policies might help avert future lockdowns, particularly if mixed with different non-pharmaceutical interventions equivalent to social distancing, hand hygiene, and ample air flow,” per the CDC. * Nearly 60 organizations, including groups representing American Indian tribes, hospitals, schools and businesses, have opposed to the repeal. * This is not the first time Republican lawmakers have challenged Evers’ attempts to manage the pandemic. Last year, Republican legislators persuaded the state Supreme Court to throw out his stay-at-home order. Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include Gov. Evers’ new mandate.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.

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