Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said she will not be bullied into reopening her state if COVID-19 cases begin to increase, and she unpersuaded by any potential political fallout.
Speaking on CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday, the Michigan governor said that she will listen to the experts before reopening her state.
“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 staying focussed on the epidemiology,” Whitmer said, as reported by The Hill. “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’m not going to be bullied into moving before it’s safe, and if we have to move back, we’re going to [do that,]” @GovWhitmer says as Michigan revises its reopening plan amid a resurgence of Covid-19 cases.https://t.co/oWB2Xe2OJ2 pic.twitter.com/GMGKJnfZNQ
— New Day (@NewDay) July 7, 2020
Whitmer responded to criticism that she overstepped her authority when she “signed an order closing indoor service at bars throughout much of lower Michigan to mitigate the disease’s spread ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend.” Whitmer told CNN that she is prepared to shut down hair salons if need be.
“I took a lot of heat when we brought that curve down, we saved thousands of lives. I’m prepared to take heat if that’s what is going to take to keep people safe,” she said.
“I would hate to think the sacrifices that we’ve made could be made in vain because some people are losing interest or dropping their guard. We’ve got to double down right now more than ever,” she continued. “It’s incumbent on every one of us to mask up. From the White House to the statehouse and everywhere in between. That’s the most important thing we can do right now.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said last week that his state will not be locking down again.
“We’re not going back, closing things,” DeSantis told reporters. “I don’t think that that, really, is what’s driving it. People going to business is not what’s driving it. I think when you see the younger folks, I think a lot of it is more just social interactions, so that’s natural.”
“We’re open; we know who we need to protect. Most of the folks in those younger demographics, although we want them to be mindful of what’s going on, are just simply much, much less at risk than the folks who are in those older age groups,” DeSantis continued.
In a Facebook Live stream on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the United States is still “knee-deep” in the first wave of COVID-19.
“We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this,” Fauci said, as reported by CNN. “I would say, this would not be considered a wave. It was a surge or a resurgence of infections superimposed upon a baseline … that really never got down to where we wanted to go.”