Great news, Michiganders — it might be safe to plant seeds in your garden again! What has apparently convinced Gretchen Whitmer to make “adjustments” to her capricious stay-at-home orders, which were so arbitrary that several sheriffs refused to enforce them? It might have been the protesters that have made their displeasure known, but I’m betting on the fact that the shutdown has put 22% of Whitmer’s workforce out of their jobs.
Stay tuned, Whitmer urged CNN’s Jim Sciutto:
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer tells @jimsciutto that while readjustments to her stay-at-home order are not finalized, they may be coming in the next few days. https://t.co/C7cOOPqpHH pic.twitter.com/po6v6AKWFY
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) April 23, 2020
Reopening businesses that “pose very little risk” may be appropriate, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday. …
“Is it public-facing? Does the majority of the work happen indoors or outdoors? Does it require more than one person using a set of instruments or machinery? These are three of many questions that we’re asking to assess risk inherent in different sectors of our economy.”
Gee, maybe those are questions Whitmer should have asked from the very beginning. Other governors tuned their orders more judiciously with those points in mind, and have relied on their citizens to responsibly use social-distancing techniques to mitigate risks otherwise. Instead of following that example, Whitmer ordered people to stop planting and gardening even in their own homes and fields, and blocked landscaping businesses that don’t come into contact with others in most instances. When challenged to explain the necessity these restrictions, she instead sneered that people didn’t need to worry about their rights when it was snowing.
Small wonder, then, that Michigan is experiencing the highest level of unemployment in the nation. Sciutto points this out but never connects the dots to Whitmer’s draconian shut-down order as the reason it’s worse in Michigan than anywhere else. CNN also provided a little cover for Whitmer in its earlier reporting on the protests in Michigan, but those are clearly more significant than in other states — which is also a result of Whitmer’s high-handedness:
“How are you taking care of yourself?” Whitmer asked an intensive care nurse, who said that in more than 30 years of practice she has never seen such an unrelenting barrage of patients and pain. “I can’t imagine the stress that you’re under.”
But just outside the governor’s second-floor office, the front lines of another fight were building, with protesters surrounding the Capitol in a drive-by demonstration to defy the strict stay-at-home orders Whitmer, a Democrat, has imposed in hopes of slowing the deadly outbreak.
The collision between a public health battle and a political one, which played out for more than five hours here on Wednesday, underscores the boiling tensions of a restless nation struggling with the wisdom of reopening the economy before the deadly pandemic subsides, even as President Donald Trump moves closer to easing national guidelines for social distancing.
Whitmer could hardly ignore the scene, considering the honking horns, raucous jeers and blaring music became background noise for her video conference call with health care workers.
Bear in mind that these protests have been ongoing for a week now, and are only growing larger. The more Michiganders find themselves out of jobs over Whitmer’s diktats, the more they will continue to grow, too. Small wonder, then, that Whitmer’s starting to look at “adjustments” now.
For a fun finale, Sciutto also asks Whitmer whether she’s ready to join Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket. “Can Michigan spare its governor?” in this crisis, Sciutto asks. “There’s no place I’d rather be than in my home state,” Whitmer says in her demurral. That might not last for long, either.
“The job that I want is the one that I have,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says about the prospect of being picked as Joe Biden’s running mate, adding that she’s going to “support him in any way that I can be helpful” https://t.co/hKDYLBJtOX pic.twitter.com/tBPxmhX1yx
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 23, 2020