MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The largely bipartisan approach to attacking the coronavirus in Wisconsin showed signs of cracking after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said he was ordering all nonessential businesses closed as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep more people at home.
Republican state lawmakers and Evers had largely been in agreement last week as the governor issued orders first limiting the size of gatherings to no more than 50 people, then down to 10, followed by closing all bars and restaurants and some other businesses like barbers and tattoo parlors where people are in close contact with one another.
But with the Evers announcement on Monday that he was forcing all nonessential businesses to shut down, after saying Friday he didn’t think such a move was necessary, Republicans voiced their loudest criticisms to date.
“Every business in WI that provides an individual and/or family an income is essential,” tweeted Republican state Sen. Chris Kapenga, of Brookfield, on Tuesday.
Republicans were particularly critical of Evers for not spelling out on Monday which businesses would be deemed essential and allowed to remain open. Evers planned to release that on Tuesday. The order is coupled with Evers’ call for people to stay at home.
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