Gov. Tony Evers says the Wisconsin Supreme Court shut the door on statewide safety restrictions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
"As far as any kind of restrictions, it is not going to happen. That’s that," Evers said during an appearance on UPFRONT on WISN TV. "The Supreme Court set the stage and our state is now open and hopefully the goodwill of the people of the state will prevail."
The court ruled that Evers' shutdown of businesses in the state was unconstitutional. He already had begun lifting restrictions, following the plan created and endorsed by the CDC. His restrictions were due to expire next week.
The Republican leaders in Madison who sued to lift all of his restrictions immediately have made it clear that they don't want any new ones, Evers said. Restrictions remain in place in some parts of the state, including Milwaukee, Dane County and Brown County.
"I know there is a feeling that there would be this grand bargain, but I don’t see that happening," the governor added.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald last week told WISN Radio that he doesn't see the need for new restrictions on how people can go shopping or how businesses can reopen.
"The focus moving forward should be about the bigger, broader questions," Fitzgerald said last week. "Like are K-12 schools coming back in the fall? Is the UW System going to have kids loading up their cars and driving down and move into a dorm room?"
Evers didn't touch on that.
"My goal is to focus on several things. One is people can still stay safe at home. There is nothing illegal about staying safe at home," the governor said. "Second, we will continue the testing and contact tracing and continue making sure we have enough equipment for our frontline workers."
Evers also defended his Health Secretary, Andrea Palm, from calls to fire her.
"She has done a great job. She is a professional. Her staff has been working on this issue 24/7. To say she is incapable or incompetent, it is a lie," the governor added.
A handful of Wisconsin lawmakers say Palm's over-reach and her general mismanagement of the coronavirus outbreak should cost her her job.
As for what's next, Evers said he doesn't know. Though he says it will take at least six months to get to the next step.
"The new normal will not look like the old normal. We just have to accept that," Evers said. "Once we get the vaccine, we will be in a much better place. But it will take some time."