Gov. Whitmer Speaks 1-On-1 About COVID-19 Economic Impact
While the state looks to be on the up swing from COVID-19, Governor Gretchen Whitmer sat down one-on-one with 9&10 News Thursday afternoon to talk about the process and the patience needed from Michiganders.
“Does this increased activity mean that COVID-19 is spreading or not?” Gov. Whitmer says, “That’s what we need to measure before we take the next step.”
Stay-at-Home orders originally put in place to flatten the curve, a benchmark we seem to have hit.
“That criticism I think is totally unfair. Nobody has moved any goal posts,” Whitmer says. “The fact of the matter is, we have seen some flattening here and now we need to see it consistently over time and we need to see consistent decline. We have started to re-engage our economy.”
Almost two months of economic lockdown is now going to have a long-lasting effect on the state budget. Economists predict a near $3 billion shortfall both this year and next. Those are sums Michigan can’t absorb easily.
“The only places you can really get it from is from public education, public health or public safety,”Whitmer says. “Those are the worst places to make less investment in the middle of a global pandemic.”
Her political opponents say it was avoidable.
“My only frustration is that the hit to our budget is going to be larger than what it needed to be,” Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield says. “Because we have not handled this the right way.”
Add to it other states reopening faster. Wisconsin’s Supreme Court ended their Governor’s stay-at-home order with a ruling Wednesday night.
“We’re a different state, I mean, Wisconsin has different laws than Michigan does,” Whitmer says. “The governor’s authority is different than mine here in Michigan.”
Close eyes will be kept on states like Wisconsin. If it works for them, people will ask why it couldn’t work here?
“While we see this case happen in Wisconsin and people have headed straight to the bar, we’re just so worried that they are going to have another ferocious spike of COVID-19,” Whitmer says. “We can’t let that happen here in Michigan.”