Michigan faces COVID crisis, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is at odds with both public health officials and local GOP

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, in an attempt to encourage young adults, gets her first COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, Apr. 6, 2021 at Ford Field, administered by Michigan Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun. Photo by Mandi Wright via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Michigan is the COVID-19 epicenter in the United States right now. The state has more than 7000 new cases per day, and hospitals are nearing capacity. 

“We've got reservoirs of people that don't have antibodies,” Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer said on Face the Nation over the weekend. “We have variants, big presence of variants here in Michigan that are easier to catch. And people are tired and they're moving around more. And this is kind of the combination of things that is contributing to what we're seeing is a large amount of community spread in Michigan right now.”

Sports arenas and indoor dining are open there at reduced capacities, and kids are back in-person at most schools.

Instead of imposing new mandatory lockdown measures, Whitmer is calling for voluntary social distancing, saying it’s a matter of personal responsibility to stop the spread of COVID.

Some public health experts aren’t pleased with her. Meanwhile, Michigan Republicans, who’ve lost their patience for pandemic restrictions, want Whitmer to completely re-open the state. 

More: Huffington Post: Michigan Shows Why Managing The COVID-19 Endgame Is So Hard

Credits

Guest:

  • Jonathan Cohn - Senior National Correspondent at Huffington Post, where he writes about health care politics and policy; author of “The Ten Year War: Obamacare and the Unfinished Crusade for Universal Coverage” - @CitizenCohn