Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was serving hot dogs in Detroit on Thursday when she was approached by a man who said he had lost his job as a health care worker.
The man told Whitmer that he had not received any unemployment benefits from the state. The governor responded by saying she’d “check in on it,” then asked him if she could buy him a hot dog. (RELATED: Gretchen Whitmer Leads George Floyd Protest Without Social Distancing)
“I’m a laid-off health care worker,” the man tells Whitmer in the video. “I haven’t received none of my benefits yet. Is there any possible way that you could maybe put my name in?”
“I’ll check in on it,” Whitmer responds. “Can I buy you a hot dog?”
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Whitmer was working at Lafayette Coney Island in Detroit, to let “people know we’re open for business,” according to WDIV. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Michigan State Sen. Sounds Off On Whitmer’s Coronavirus Policies After Husband’s Boating Incident)
“I wanted to get in and work alongside people that are showing up and doing it safely so people know we’re open for business, you can come in and enjoy this phenomenal food and do so safely,” Whitmer said, according to WDIV.
Laid-off workers throughout the state have reportedly had problems receiving their unemployment insurance benefits, as many unemployment offices remain closed. Whitmer signed an executive order in May intended to expedite unemployment benefits during the pandemic.
“Nobody should have to worry about how to put food on the table or pay their bills, especially during a crisis. Michiganders everywhere have lost work because of COVID-19, and we must ensure they receive the benefits they’re entitled to as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Whitmer said at the time.
Whitmer recently extended Michigan’s state of emergency through July 16, but allowed businesses to reopen at a reduced capacity earlier in June.