“Wear your mask, even if you are home, to participate in a virtual meeting that involves being seen—such as on Zoom or another video-conferencing platform—by non-DNR staff,” Preston Cole, head of the Department of Natural Resources, wrote in an email to employees last month, an agency spokeswoman confirmed to The Epoch Times.
“Set the safety example which shows you as a DNR public service employee care about the safety and health of others,” Cole added.
The spokeswoman said in an email: “We’ve asked of our employees to wear a mask while video conferencing with external partners to set a good example during this pandemic. Wisconsin is a state with significant community spread. By making the effort to wear a mask when publicly conferencing with our external partners we are creating a very visual reminder to all that wearing a mask in a public setting helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We also ask staff to wear masks when on externally facing calls because, taken out of context, a screenshot of a staff person or high ranking department official, if not properly attributed, could be misinterpreted to suggest that state employees are not properly following the Governor’s directive.”
Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, in late July ordered people in the state to wear masks in public indoor settings.
According to the executive order, every individual five years old or older must wear a face covering if both of the following apply: “The individual is indoors or in an enclosed space, other than at a private residence and another person or persons who are not members of individual’s household or living unit are present in the same room or enclosed space.”
When two mayors in Florida in July recommended people wear masks at home, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spokesman declined to endorse the recommendation.
“To reduce the spread of COVID-19, CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain,” the spokesman told The Epoch Times in an email.
Dr. Scott Atlas, President Donald Trump’s new COVID-19 adviser, said during an appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that wearing a mask in certain settings is a rational policy. But policies like the one from Wisconsin’s DNR stem from “a massive amount of fear, bordering on hysteria,” he said.
“And this is a real problem, because public policy is supposed to be taking into consideration not just stopping COVID-19 at all costs, but understanding the impact on people of what you do and what you say.”