Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she won’t apologize for keeping the state under a strict lockdown.
Michigan has been under a stay-at-home order since March, which Whitmer at least partially blamed on the federal government, in an interview Monday with Axios. (RELATED: Authoritarianism On The Rise In The Age Of Coronavirus)
“I’m never going to apologize for the fact that because there was a vacuum of leadership at the federal level, we had to take action to save people here in Michigan,” Whitmer said. “It has not come without a cost. I recognize that. I know a lot of people are stressed about the job they lost or the business that might not open. But there’s also over 5,000 families that are mourning the loss of a loved one.”
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defended the strictness of her state’s lockdown in an interview with #AxiosOnHBO saying it was necessary — despite the protests that have drawn national attention — because of how quickly the state’s cases were rising.https://t.co/4wU0PG7GHi
— Axios (@axios) May 26, 2020
Whitmer has implemented some of the strictest coronavirus restrictions in the country. She recently extended the state’s lockdown order until June 12, the fifth time she has extended the order, which was originally put in place March 23. (RELATED: America Is Reopening, Whether Politicians Like It Or Not)
The governor’s orders have been the subject of several protests in Lansing, where armed anti-lockdown protesters stormed the state capitol in late April. The most recent protest occurred in mid-May, when barbers gathered on the capitol lawn to give out haircuts, in defiance of Whitmer’s orders that have shut down salons, barber shops, and all other businesses the governor considers non-essential.
Whitmer has defended her actions and said that protests will not convince her to change course.
“I’ve been focused on doing my job, and I’m going to keep doing that and I’m not going to apologize about that,” Whitmer said on Fox News earlier this month. “I’m not changing the way I run this state because of some protests.”
Researchers at Drexel University estimate that Philadelphia’s lockdown saved roughly 6,200 lives and avoided 57,000 hospitalizations.
Amy Carroll-Scott, co-leader of Drexel’s Urban Health Collaborative, told the Philadelphia Inquirer, however, that there are “caveats” with the model used in the study.
A doctor at a hospital in California reported that they have seen an “unprecedented” number of suicides since the coronavirus pandemic has started and that they are outpacing deaths directly from the virus itself. (RELATED: Australia Projects More Deaths From Suicides In Lockdown Than From The Virus Itself)