Gov. Whitmer Officially Requests Major Disaster Declaration
As the numbers continue to rise in Michigan, this morning Governor Gretchen Whitmer finally officially asked for a major disaster declaration from President Donald Trump.
For weeks, Governor Whitmer has been pleading the federal government for assistance and even chastised the administration for not doing enough.
Thursday she changed that and made an official request, following several other states in the process.
“The benefit of being able to watch and see how other states have done it,” says Whitmer, “We know what they have been able to procure and what they haven’t been able to.”
Whitmer says the decision was delayed because the state had to focus first on putting executive orders in place to slow the spread of the virus in Michigan.
Most notably, her Stay-At-Home executive order Monday, putting an end to all non-essential business in the state.
“It is the most aggressive of any state in the country and it will save lives,” says Whitmer, “But it depends on you doing your part.”
The numbers continue to climb despite the measures. Now the state is death toll is at least 60 with more than 2,200 known cases.
“Right now we are probably a few weeks out from hitting that apex but again it all depends on what everyone does,” says Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, “If we do appropriate social distancing and we listen to the governor’s executive orders, then we will be able to flatten that curve.”
The impact of the executive orders will take time to be seen but Whitmer stresses they will only work if Michiganders comply.
“This order is not optional,” says Whether, “It is not a recommendation.”
Dr. Khaldun said the state is also looking for unconventional places to house and care for COVID-19 patients. Hotels, motels and field hospitals have been discussed but that might be a few weeks out still yet.