LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer doubled down on her decision to not impose new restrictions amid the latest surge in coronavirus cases.
The state has said it’s a race to get people vaccinated against the rapid spread. Whitmer also renewed her call to the White House for more vaccines as state hospitals fill with patients.
Whitmer didn’t back away from last week’s strategy that put responsibility onto Michiganders to follow COVID guidelines. She said Michigan is at the eye of a “perfect storm” of a population with fewer antibodies, more variant cases and a broad lack of compliance.
“As we talked to the national experts, they said, ‘Listen, you don’t have a policy problem. You’ve got a compliance problem coupled with variants,’” Whitmer said.
Experts said much of the large spike in COVID cases are fueled by gatherings, indoor dining and youth sports.
“We can mandate all sorts of things but it’s ultimately going to be individual decision informed by all that we’ve learned and all the tools we have since a year ago when this all started,” Whitmer said. “That’s why we’re really imploring people to take this seriously.”
The Governor is also imploring the White House to send a surge of vaccines to Michigan -- a request the Biden Administration denied. Whitmer, a vocal advocate for President Joe Biden during the lead up to the 2020 U.S. General Election, said she’ll continue to push for more vaccines.
“I’m grateful for their leadership. I do think though that the operation of this magnitude and consequence, there are going to be lessons along the way and we need to learn those lessons and and adjust where necessary,” Whitmer said.
The White House did announce it will be sending 160 FEMA and CDC workers to Michigan to help vaccinate more people, but stopped short of saying they would divert more vaccines to Michigan.