Days after she scaled back on reopening just before the Fourth of July holiday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer made it clear in an interview with CNN‘s “New Day” that she is in no rush to get her state up and running again. The Democratic governor defiantly let her naysayers know that she will not be “bullied” into reopening Michigan “before it’s safe.”
“We, you know, have a phased-in re-engagement of our economy, and I had hoped to take the rest of the state to Phase 5, but we dialed it back right before the Fourth of July because we see these numbers increasing,” Whitmer said. “So, not having bars that are serving indoors, that’s one thing. But, you know, we’re going to continue to monitor the numbers.”
“If they keep moving up, we’re going to dial back if we have to,” she added. “And that’s the last thing any of us wants. I’ve got to tell you, I want to re-engage this economy more than anyone, but I’m not going to do it if it is too risky to do so. And that’s why we’re seeing focus on the epidemiology. I’m not going to be bullied into moving before it’s safe. And if we have to move back, we’re going to.”
“I took a lot of heat. When we brought that curve down, we saved thousands of lives,” Whitmer said at another point in the interview. “I’m prepared to take heat if that’s what it’s going to take to keep people safe.”
The governor also called for a “national mask-up” campaign, indicating that she thinks every American should be forced to wear masks. “I’d like a national mask-up campaign. I think that if everyone endorsed this, it’s a simple cost-effective thing that we could do to really mitigate spread,” Whitmer said. “But the symbols that come from the very top matter and it changes behavior. If we can take the politics out of mask wearing we can save a lot of lives and in doing so save the pain, the economic pain, that we are feeling across this country.”
Whitmer has become infamous for imposing some of the strictest lockdown measures in the country throughout this pandemic, and she has been having way too much fun using this pandemic to control as many aspects of the lives of Michiganders. The people of her state deserve better than the quality of leadership (or lack thereof) that she’s been giving them.