Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) finds herself at the center of the news cycle amid COVID-19, on account of her far-reaching stay-at-home order. Gov. Whitmer’s order is one of the most strict, and is being criticized as a constitutional overreach. Michigan lawmakers, including Democrats, are evidently frustrated with Gov. Whitmer’s harsh order.
Democrat Mike Duggan, Mayor of Detroit, called his state’s system for reporting COVID-19 “not reliable,” as hospital officials also blame the state government for an inefficient system that ultimately leads to longer wait times.
Michigan State Rep. Karen Whitsett, a Democrat representing Detroit, alleged that Gov. Whitmer was giving federal officials incorrect information on the COVID-19 situation in Detroit, and told a Michigan news outlet that Gov. Whitmer was not doing enough:
“There is no need for me to have a conversation with someone who is not doing anything. I mean, if you are going to do something, then I want to have a conversation with you. If you are not going to do anything, I don’t have time to have a conversation with you. I have people dying in my city. I don’t have time to waste,” Rep. Whitsett said.
Mayor of Warren, Michigan, Jim Fouts, criticized a provision in Gov. Whitmer’s order that bans Michigan residents from utilizing commercial lawn service:
“I’m not going to support giving any citation. We have a large number of senior citizens, and many of them have special needs. They don’t own lawnmowers; they rely on commercial services,” he told Detroit News.
A handful of law enforcement officials even suggest that Gov. Whitmer has overstepped, per Michigan Live:
“While we understand her desire to protect the public, we question some restrictions that she has imposed as overstepping her executive authority...She has created a vague framework of emergency laws that only confuse Michigan citizens.”
Michigan Rising Action, a powerhouse conservative research group, works to hold Gov. Whitmer accountable. The group’s Executive Director, Tori Sachs, points to Gov. Whitmer’s focus on auditioning for a vice presidential tap rather than emergency management for her constituents:
“From the city of Detroit to the top of the mitten, the frustrations with Whitmer’s poor emergency response management and growing confusion from excessive decrees are concerning local officials and residents alike. Whitmer has time to audition for VP on national shows and criticize citizens for pointing out confusion but has avoided responding to local officials on her poor management and the growing frustration with her handling of this emergency response. It’s past time for Whitmer to put the needs of Michiganders first,” she said in a release.
Her criticisms appear to be echoed by Gov. Whitmer’s constituents. In addition to vocal criticism from public officials, thousands of Michigan residents staged a protest, refuting Gov. Whitmer’s order:
"We want to go back to work.”— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) April 16, 2020
Thousands of people jammed the streets of Michigan's capital, honking in protest of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's #StayAtHome order during the #coronavirus outbreak #CoronavirusUSA pic.twitter.com/szz0NwJDl8
Gov. Whitmer wrote off the protest as a danger to the public, and said that it justified her strict order:
WATCH: Gov. Whitmer says today's protest at Michigan's Capitol is "the kind of behavior that extends the need for stay-at-home orders."— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 15, 2020
"It was a political rally that is going to endanger people's lives because this is precisely how COVID-19 spreads."https://t.co/hZ1sjeUUSI pic.twitter.com/wd3ZTAEQgC
The Governor of Michigan and vice presidential hopeful even suggested that her strict, arguably unconstitutional order was immune from criticism because it was snowing in Michigan:
Gretchen Whitmer: Authoritarianism is okay because it's snowing! ??? pic.twitter.com/51oFMrADO8— Mike Joyce (@mjoyce317) April 15, 2020
Gov. Whitmer should spend less time on broadcast appearances and instead listen to her constituents, of all party identifications, who are evidently fed-up with her overreach.
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