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Milwaukee’s health commissioner steps down

Coronavirus Pandemic

A bus driver gives a thumbs up on the first day of school at Bay View Middle School on Sept. 1, 2020, in Howard, Wis. (Sarah Kloepping/The Post-Crescent via AP)
By The Associated Press undefined

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee’s health commissioner is quitting to take a new job, citing the partisan battles management of the coronavirus.

Jeanette Kowalik is joining a national health policy think tank in Washington, D.C. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Kowalik noted obstacles to testing, public health orders, mask messaging during the pandemic response.

Republican lawmakers brought a successful lawsuit before the state Supreme Court this spring ending Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ “safer at home” order designed to slow the spread of the virus. A conservative law firm has filed a lawsuit seeking to end the Evers mask mandate, which the Republican Senate majority leader has denounced.

Milwaukee has reported more than 17,700 positive cases and more than 275 deaths. Wisconsin has reported 1,142 deaths, according to the state Department of Health Services.