Whitmer open to scaling back reopening of Michigan
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) who was one of the most criticized governors in the U.S. for her extreme shut down measures during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is warning that she might “dial back” Michigan’s reopening if the virus continues to resurge.
“I want to reengage this economy more than anyone, but I’m not going to do it if it is too risky to do so,” Whitmer said. “I’m not going to be bullied into moving before it’s safe, and if we have to move back, we’re gonna.”
Whitmer says she doesn’t want to see the state’s recovery lose ground after the horrific economic impact coronavirus-related shutdowns had on businesses throughout the state.
“I would hate to think that this sacrifice that we have made would be made in vain because some people are losing interest or are dropping their guard,” she said. “We’ve got to double down right now more than ever.”
Michigan officials say that more than 66,000 confirmed cases have been identified in the state and more than 6,000 deaths. At least 22,000 of those cases and over 2,600 deaths happened in the Detroit area alone.
Whitmer has already closed down indoor bar service again in Michigan saying she believed those establishments were contributing to the spread of the virus. She signed legislation allowing the sale of cocktails-to-go in an effort to bring less economic harm to places that serve alcohol. The governor’s office said at least 107 confirmed COVID-19 cases came from a single bar in East Lansing.
“If we open up our economy too quickly, the efforts of the last three months will be for nothing and we will have to go through this pain all over again and put our economy, health and medical system at risk,” she said. “Nobody wants to move backward. Everyone, please do your part, and let’s show the nation and the world how smart we are.”
Conservatives fired back at the governor claiming that she is attempting to lock down the state for political reasons.
“Two months ago I predicted that this [g]overnor will attempt to keep the state locked down through the elections to force ‘mail-in-voting’ and tank our economy. And, right on time, Whitmer is doing exactly that,” tweeted Mike Detmer, a Republican candidate for Congress in Michigan.
The governor has been victorious in the courts against business owners who have sued her to force the state to let them reopen.
Whitmer has also joined a growing list of governors calling to require face masks to be worn in public places.
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