Royal Oak Tribune

Whitmer reflects on divided year

Governor: ‘Politics has permeated’ coronaviru­s fight

- By Anna Liz Nichols

LANSING» Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Tuesday that “politics has permeated” the coronaviru­s fight and made it harder to protect the public.

Whitmer spoke to reporters during a year- end video conference, reflecting on the state’s response to COVID-19, efforts to reduce racial disparitie­s in health care as well as an alleged plot to kidnap her.

“I think in any time, a governor, their first and foremost job is to keep the people of their state safe, and we’ve done well on that count, considerin­g all of the challenges that we’ve had,” Whitmer

said.

“National experts are pointing to what we’re doing in Michigan, other states are following our lead because we’re following the science and we’re being strategic about how we address the spread that’s happening,” she said.

Michigan has struggled to keep COVID-19 numbers down, ranking high during much of the pandemic in infection cases and deaths, which now exceed 11,700. But the governor said statewide restrictio­ns have allowed Michigan to start reducing the spread, especially avoiding a post-Thanksgivi­ng surge.

Whitmer issued nearly 200 executive orders, which were criticized by Republican­s for harming the state’s economy and infringing on freedom. The Michigan Supreme Court in October said the governor was using an unconstitu­tional law as the foundation for her orders. She pivoted by using the health department to make similar orders that suspended indoor dining and in-person high school classes, among many other restrictio­ns.

A global pandemic, national outcry against police brutality and a contentiou­s election year have created chasms in the state, said

 ?? MICHIGAN OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR VIA AP ?? Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing on Dec. 18.
MICHIGAN OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR VIA AP Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing on Dec. 18.

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