Former rivals Walker, Doyle join together to promote vaccine

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Former rivals Walker, Doyle join together to promote vaccine

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Former Wisconsin governors Jim Doyle and Scott Walker don’t agree on much, but they are joining together to call for people to get the COVID-19 vaccine in a new public service television advertisement.

The spot released Thursday, produced by UW Health, features the Republican Walker placing a Zoom call to Doyle, a Democrat. Both are in their personal offices and never appear in the same room together.

“I’m just ready to be done with this pandemic,” Walker says.

Doyle responds, “I couldn’t agree with you more.”

“That’s what I thought,” Walker says. “Here’s another thought: Let’s do a commercial together — reminding people in Wisconsin how important it is to be vaccinated.”

Doyle quips, “That may be the best idea you’ve ever had.”

Both Walker and Doyle have been vaccinated.

Both governors said in statements that they hoped the ad would encourage everyone to get vaccinated to enjoy the summer and return to a more normal life.

“It just makes sense,” Walker said Thursday on Twitter in response to a post about the ad.

The spot comes as the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature is considering bills that would prohibit business owners, university leaders and government officials from requiring the COVID-19 vaccination or treating unvaccinated people differently.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is all-but certain to veto the bills should they pass. He has already vetoed a bill that would have prohibited health officials from mandating the vaccine.

As of Wednesday, nearly 49% of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose of vaccine and just over 43% are fully vaccinated.

This isn’t the first time that political rivals have appeared together in a public service announcement during the pandemic. Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan appeared in a spot last year encouraging people to wear masks.

And a third former governor, currently interim University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson, wielded a sledge hammer in a series of videos last year urging people to “smash COVID.”

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