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Dr. Scott Atlas, a member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, encouraged people in Michigan to “rise up” against new coronavirus restrictions enacted on Sunday by Michigan Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
“Today’s order, which takes effect Wednesday, Nov. 18, is not a blanket stay-home action like in the spring,” the state said. “The order leaves open work that cannot be performed from home, including for manufacturing, construction and health occupations. Outdoor gatherings, outdoor dining and parks remain open. Individualized activities with distancing and face masks are still allowed: retail shopping; public transit; restaurant takeout; personal-care services such as haircuts, by appointment; and individualized exercise at a gym, with extra spacing between machines.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services put out a graphic showing what would be allowed to remain open and what would be forced to closed.
The things that are being forced to close include in-person high school learning, in-person college and university learning, workplaces where the work can be completed from home, indoor restaurants and bars, organized sports (does not include professional sports), movie theaters, stadiums, arenas, bowling centers, ice skating rinks, indoor water parks, bingo halls, casinos, arcades, and group fitness classes.
“Michigan has seen fewer outbreaks associated with elementary and middle schools, and younger children are most in need of in-person instruction,” the state added. “In-person K-8 schooling may continue if it can be done with strong mitigation, including mask requirements, based on discussion between local health and school officials. Childcare also remains open to support working parents.”
Atlas responded to a tweet that showed the graphic stating what was opened and closed, writing: “The only way this stops is if people rise up. You get what you accept. #FreedomMatters #StepUp”
Atlas later added: “Hey. I NEVER was talking at all about violence. People vote, people peacefully protest. NEVER would I endorse or incite violence. NEVER!!”
Hey. I NEVER was talking at all about violence. People vote, people peacefully protest. NEVER would I endorse or incite violence. NEVER!! https://t.co/LljvwMvjDV
— Scott W. Atlas (@SWAtlasHoover) November 16, 2020
“In the spring, we listened to public health experts, stomped the curve, and saved thousands of lives together. Now, we must channel that same energy and join forces again to protect our families, frontline workers, and small businesses,” Whitmer said. “Right now, there are thousands of cases a day and hundreds of deaths a week in Michigan, and the number is growing. If we don’t act now, thousands more will die, and our hospitals will continue to be overwhelmed. We can get through this together by listening to health experts once again, and taking action right now to slow the spread of this deadly virus.”
Whitmer later responded to Atlas’ tweet during an appearance on CNN, telling Wolf Blitzer: “We know that the White House likes to single us out here in Michigan — me out in particular. I’m not gonna be bullied into not following reputable scientists and medical professionals.”
A graphic that Whitmer tweeted out did not indicate whether churches were going to be allowed to stay open or if they were going to be forced to close.
Tonight, @MichiganHHS issued an emergency order that enacts a three-week pause, targeting indoor social gatherings and other group activities to curb our state’s rising #COVID19 infection rates. pic.twitter.com/yEc0enVPBX
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) November 16, 2020
This report has been updated to include additional information.