Michigan Governor Responds to Lockdown Protests: No Health Decisions Based on Political Games
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday responded to anti-lockdown protests and claims she is abusi..
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday responded to anti-lockdown protests and claims she is abusing her authority by extending restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, saying that she “is not going to make decisions about our public health based on political games.”
Whitmer made the remarks on Friday, a day after hundreds of people protested at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing against her stay-at-home order, one of the strictest in the nation, which was extended until May 15. It includes not allowing people to travel to other homes under most conditions and bars the sale of items deemed nonessential at many stores.
State legislative approval of Whitmers state of emergency declaration, which gives her special executive powers, was set to expire after Thursday.
She asked for a 28-day extension, though Republican lawmakers in control of the statehouse instead voted on bills to replace the state of emergency and her executive orders with “a normal democratic process,” according to a statement from House Speaker Lee Chatfield.
GOP lawmakers, who want more input on gradually restarting the economy, also voted to authorize a lawsuit challenging her authority and actions.
Outside, protesters held placards with slogans like “Shut down the lockdown,” and “No work no freedom.”
“The virus is here. Its going to be here. … Its time to let people go back to work. Thats all there is to it,” Joni George, of Flushing, told The Associated Press.
Whitmer acknowledged that “everyone is entitled to their opinion” but insisted that conditions relating to the outbreak remained severe enough to justify a state of emergency and continued restrictions in the interest of public health.
“For anyone to declare mission accomplished means they are turning a blind eye to the fact that over 600 people have died in the last 72 hours,” she said of the rising death count in Michigan due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a novel coronavirus that emerged from mainland China last year.
“Im not going to make decisions based on political games. Im going to make them on the best science, the best data, what our epidemiologists and public health experts are telling us,” she said.