Gov. Whitmer: Reopen Demonstrations ‘Force Us to Stay’ in Shutdown Posture Longer

Gov. Whitmer: Reopen Demonstrations ‘Force Us to Stay’ in Shutdown Posture Longer


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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The protests against the state stay-at-home orders which have been springing up across the United States over the last couple of weeks will have the perverse effect of forcing governors to maintain the lockdown conditions in place even longer, according to Gov Gretchen Whitmer, who’s state of Michigan has been the site of such protests.

The protesters have been demanding an immediate reopening of their states, to re-establish the economic activity which came to a standstill across most of the country, to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and the pandemic it’s caused.

Donald Trump’s egged on those protesters via Twitter telling them to “liberate” their states.

Trump has wanted to end the lockdown conditions for weeks, and some states are reopening despite the warnings from health professionals.

However, most other states remain in lockdown, and the Democratic Whitmer believes that the protests–in which demonstrators largely ignore recommended social distancing–is only making the battle against COVID-19 even worse.

Michigan has had more than 35,000 reported cases of COVID-19, including 2,977 deaths.

“Well, the good part of the story that is hard to focus on, but that I always want to point out is that the vast majority of people in Michigan are doing their part. We have seen the stay home order impact the number of cases that we have. You know, we had to take more aggressive steps than other states because even though we’ve got the tenth largest population in this country, we have the third highest death rate,” Whitmer said. “We have a uniquely tough problem and it requires a uniquely tough solution. And that’s what we’ve done. And certainly there are people who are dissenting my orders just like there are people dissenting orders in Indiana, Ohio, Colorado, all across the country.

“That’s okay. I respect people’s ability and right to dissent, but what we need to make sure every one of us does is observe the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] best practices so we are not unwittingly spreading COVID-19,” she added. “The worst irony that could come about from these demonstrations is that they force us to stay in this posture longer than we’re already planning to. That’s the last thing any of us wants.

“I can tell you with all confidence that every governor in this country is eager to figure out when we can reopen or re-engage our economies,” Whitmer said. “And yet, some of us are going to stay focused on the science so we make sure we do it in the safest manner.”

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