A “Celebrate Darwin Day” ad in the Wisconsin State Journal promoting science-based recommendations for the pandemic takes a dig at the Wisconsin Legislature’s obstructionism.
The full-page ad appearing in the main section, placed by the national Freedom From Religion Foundation based in Madison, invokes Dr. Anthony Fauci’s dictum, “Let the Science Speak.”
It depicts Charles Darwin, born today, Feb. 12, 1809, wearing one of FFRF’s popular face masks declaring, “In Science I Trust,” and advises: “Masks on. Sleeves Up. Stay safe.”
“The Wisconsin state Legislature has failed to heed Dr. Anthony Fauci’s wise counsel to ‘Let the science speak,’” the ad reads. “It has shamefully obstructed science-based proposals to alleviate pandemic-related distress and protect Wisconsin lives.” FFRF instead urges: "Public policy must be based on science, reason, evidence and compassion, especially during a deadly pandemic.”
FFRF’s home state Legislature voted to overturn Gov. Tony Evers’ masking mandate in early February, putting at risk not just Wisconsin health but also ens of millions of dollars a month in federal food assistance that could be withheld if Wisconsin has no emergency order in place. It was just the latest in a series of votes and litigation against the governor’s mandates on social distancing and masking by Republicans, who control both houses of the Legislature and have voted along party lines against the Democratic governor. Their vote to repeal the statewide mask rule on Feb. 4 was the first measure passed by the Legislature in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in 10 months.
An hour after the vote, Evers issued a new health emergency order requiring face masks in public indoor places. Litigation against Evers’ mandate is currently before the conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Backing up Evers’ mandate is a recommendation this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on new research showing the effectiveness of double-masking.
FFRF was one of many Wisconsin groups, medical personnel, businesses and individuals that urged the Legislature to keep the masking mandate in place. No one signed in against the masking mandate.
The Wisconsin Legislature further refused Evers’ request to hold a special session to fix the state’s broken unemployment system, which has imperiled many Wisconsin citizens laid off during the pandemic who are still awaiting checks.
“Our state needs some goodwill and to trust in science,” concludes FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.