Royal Oak Tribune
Whitmer reflects on divided year
Governor: ‘Politics has permeated’ coronavirus fight
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
“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