FILE — In this March 18, 2019, file photo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer listens to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., in Clawson, Mich. Whitmer has ordered a review of Michigan auto insurers’ use of non-driving factors to set premiums and their pricing of policies that coordinate medical coverage with drivers’ health insurance. The Democrat’s move Wednesday comes as Republican lawmakers prepare to soon unveil legislation designed to reduce what on average are the country’s highest car insurance rates. Whitmer says the state must take a “hard look” at how insurers set rates to ensure their practices are lawful. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, has revised her “stay home” order. First, she has extended it to May 1.
Next, she has banned travel between residences. She will allow exceptions for those taking care of an elderly relative or friend, “a pet, visiting a nursing home or similar facility, attending a funeral with no more than 10 people, or complying with a court order related to child custody.”
Speaking to reporters about the changes on Thursday, Whitmer said, “All public and private gatherings of any size are prohibited. People can still leave the house for outdoor activities, and recreational activities are still permitted as long as they’re taking place outside of six feet from anyone else.”
The Governor told reporters these measures will be required for another three weeks so the state can control the spread of the virus. Whitmer said “Michigan is facing two crises — one related to public health, and one economic. If we don’t get the health crisis under control, the economic crisis will go on and on.”
Additionally, the order says that “people will still be able to travel to other residences outside the state, but not to cottages or vacation rentals inside the state.”
Violators will be fined up to $1,000 and the changes are due to go into effect on Saturday. So, about that Easter gathering…
Thank you, Governor.
Terressa Carson, a resident of southeastern Clare County, told the Detroit Free Press that “she likes the fact that the order would prohibit people from metro Detroit, where the virus is infecting people in large numbers, from staying at cottages in her area, where there are few cases.”
Carson said, “Our hospitals are ill-equipped to handle a surge.”
But Carson is unhappy that nurseries and garden centers are closed because “it’s time for her to plant her peas, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots — food that she and her family will eat all winter. These businesses are essential — to us.”
Gov. Whitmer made the national news several weeks ago in a very public spat with President Trump. Specifically, she was making disparaging remarks about the Trump Administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis. She went so far as to imply that Trump Administration officials were blocking vendors’ attempts to ship much needed medical supplies to the state. And every step of the way, she was aided by a compliant media.
She was forced to walk back her statements after it was discovered that she, herself, was responsible for the supply delays.
A major disaster declaration renders a state eligible to receive increased federal funding and other forms of assistance. A report in the Detroit Free Press said that, as of March 26, FEMA “had not yet received a request for a major disaster declaration.” My colleague, Brad Slager posted about this here.
The bottom line was that she was late in submitting the paperwork.
She also made news for banning doctors in the state from prescribing, and pharmacists from filling, prescriptions for the drug hydroxychloroquine. Opposition to the use of this drug has become a popular position among Democrats. Her administration was widely criticized for this decision.
Following the FDA’s approval of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine on a “compassionate use” basis, her administration asked the federal government for a supply of the drugs.
Michigan HHS spokesperson Lynn Sutphin wrote in an email, “Based on the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization to allow the use of hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate products donated to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) for certain patients with COVID-19, we are pursuing a request for hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine from SNS.”
It’s been said that Gov. Whitmer has been trying to raise her profile because she is hoping former Vice President Joe Biden might select her as a running mate.
She sounds like the type of gal you’d want to have a beer with, huh?