Sen. Ron Johnson says all Wisconsin schools should open in fall

MADISON — Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said Friday that all schools in Wisconsin should open for in-person instruction in the fall, even as the coronavirus pandemic shows signs of resurgance across the state.

“It would be crazy to not completely reopen our school systems," Johnson said during a virtual question and answer session with journalists organized by the Milwaukee Press Club.

Johnson said the risk to children catching COVID-19 in schools is low. He also said virtual learning results have been mixed and there is a human toll to keeping schools closed.

Johnson was an opponent of the widespread shutdowns of businesses seen in Wisconsin and other states early on in the COVID-19 outbreak. He argues that the economic toll is too deep and the better approach is to isolate those who are sick and not allow people to congregate in places like bars where the virus can be easily spread.

The state may have to order more closures again, Johnson said, but if it comes to that "the governor really needs to work with the Legislature this time unlike he did last time.”

Gov. Tony Evers ordered the closure of nearly all non-essential businesses in March, but the Wisconsin Supreme Court in May ended the order, saying it was illegal after Republicans challenged it.