Gov. Whitmer calls for federal COVID-19 relief funding as Michigan surpasses 500,000 confirmed cases

Governor wants Washington to pass relief bill

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Dec. 15, 2020, COVID-19 press briefing

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is calling for federal COVID-19 relief funding as the state surpasses 500,000 confirmed cases of the virus.

The governor released a statement Monday after the state confirmed 4,992 new COVID-19 cases and 80 additional deaths over the last two days. Overall, Michigan has confirmed 502,119 cases of COVID-19 and 12,678 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Whitmer reflects on 2020 in Michigan: COVID-19, protests, dam failures, domestic terror plot

Here is the full statement from Whitmer:

Since the first cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Michigan, the vast majority of Michiganders have done their part to protect themselves, their families, and our frontline workers and small business owners. Now, there is hope on the horizon. My administration, led by Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, has been working with local health officials and health care providers to begin distributing the safe and effective vaccine, starting with our most vulnerable populations like health care workers and skilled nursing home residents and staff. We must remember that it will take some time for the vaccine to be widely available to all Michiganders, and until then, we must continue to do our part to keep ourselves and our fellow Michiganders safe. That means masking up, practicing safe social distancing, and avoiding indoor gatherings where the virus can easily spread from person to person.

“I was proud to work with the Legislature to pass and sign a bipartisan $106 Million Relief Plan for Michigan workers, small businesses, and more. I proposed this stimulus plan to the legislature in November because I know how much our families, frontline workers, and small businesses need relief as we head into the winter. This bipartisan relief bill will provide families and businesses the support they need to stay afloat as we continue working to distribute the safe and effective vaccine and eradicate COVID-19 once and for all.

“We still need our leaders in Washington to pass a relief bill that includes federal funding for states to fund crucial services like police and fire, emergency responders, Medicaid, higher education, and more. These services could face cuts without help from the federal government. I will continue holding our leaders in Washington accountable.

“COVID-19 didn’t end with the new year. There is still more work to do to beat this virus, but I know that Michiganders are up to the challenge. Let’s harness our Michigan grit and eliminate this virus once and for all.”

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.