Last week, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, who is now being mentioned as a possible running mate for leading Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, attacked the Trump administration for its response to the coronavirus crisis, saying, “Our problem has been exacerbated because we’re still not getting what we need from the federal government.”
But it was noted after her statement that her state government had still not requested a major disaster declaration for the coronavirus. The Federal Emergency Management Agency confirmed that Michigan had not made the request, according to the Detroit Free Press, which added:
The administration of President Donald Trump has already declared major disasters for Texas, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, New York, California and Washington, officials confirmed. But for Michigan, where the number of confirmed cases topped 2,200 Wednesday, with at least 43 deaths, “FEMA has not yet received a request for a major disaster declaration,” spokesman Michael Hart said.
The Free Press stated that Tiffany Brown, a spokeswoman for Whitmer, said state officials were “reviewing and looking into” a request to FEMA and said after the story in the Free Press appeared that officials were “working urgently” on a disaster request.
Additionally, as of March 30, although roughly 40 states had applied for a Medicaid/Medicare assistance waiver, Michigan had not, despite the fact that Michigan was in the top five states of numbers of persons diagnosed with coronavirus.
The Hill reported on Wednesday:
Michigan’s total confirmed coronavirus cases has jumped to 7,615 after the state counted 1,117 new cases on Tuesday. Michigan reported 75 additional deaths Tuesday, bringing the total fatalities to 259, according to the state’s daily updates. Confirmed cases have nearly quadrupled from a week ago, when Michigan had 1,791 cases and 24 deaths.
MLive added, “Sixty-seven of Michigan’s 83 counties are home to residents who have contracted coronavirus. About 81% of the COVID-19 cases are in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. The disproportionate number of cases in metro Detroit is a result of several factors, including the area’s large population, more aggressive testing in those counties and community spread of coronavirus, experts say. About 39% of Michigan residents live in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties.”
The New York Times reported that White House officials have expressed their disenchantment with Whitmer:
Ms. Whitmer, whom White House officials have privately criticized for showing her inexperience on the group conference calls with the president, has been relatively measured in her public criticisms of Mr. Trump … On the calls, officials said, she has been corrected by Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, about what waivers she had already been granted by the federal government.
Biden said of Whitmer’s chances of the vice-presidential slot if he wins the nomination, “She made the list in my mind two months ago. There’s probably going to be a list, I’m in the process of — Brian, we’ll have it by mid-April, putting together an organization that will run the background checks … by the second or third week in April,”
After Trump criticized her, Whitmer tweeted at Trump, “I’ve asked repeatedly and respectfully for help. We need it. No more political attacks, just PPEs, ventilators, N95 masks, test kits. You said you stand with Michigan — prove it.”
Hi, my name is Gretchen Whitmer, and that governor is me 👋
I've asked repeatedly and respectfully for help. We need it. No more political attacks, just PPEs, ventilators, N95 masks, test kits. You said you stand with Michigan — prove it. https://t.co/FtWlTLZdqW
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) March 27, 2020