DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spoke Thursday to clarify her stay-at-home order, provide an update on the state’s battle with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and ask for a federal disaster declaration.
Whitmer said she wants more people to follow her stay-at-home order. She also said the state is still behind as it struggles to battle the virus -- specifically, the medical community is in dire need of supplies.
UPDATE -- March 26, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases total 2,856; Death toll rises to 60
Whitmer said she’s officially done the paperwork to ask President Donald Trump for a federal disaster declaration.
“I am hopeful that the president will grant my request for a major disaster declaration in full and within a matter of days so we can provide more services to Michiganders who need them,” Whitmer said.
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A number of states have already received the declaration.
Meanwhile, Whitmer continued to take Trump and his team to task in terms of medical equipment. She said a paltry federal delivery couldn’t cover one shift at a hospital.
“We as Americans should not be bidding against one another,” Whitmer said. “We should be able to harness the federal power to ensure that everyone’s got what they need. That’s not happening, so that is why we are in this position.”
Whitmer asked Michigan residents to step in and fill the void by donating hospital gowns, ventilators, hand sanitizer, wipes, surgical makes rated between N-95 and N-100, surgical gloves and no-touch thermometers.
As for the businesses opened and the considerable traffic on the roads, Whitmer reiterated her stay-at-home order is not just a suggestion.
“If you are not a life-sustaining business, you’re in violation of the law and you’re unnecessarily exposing your employees to COVID-19 and you’re needlessly endangering out communities by putting more pressure on a healthcare system that is very close to the max already,” Whitmer said.
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She said business licenses can be pulled and fines can be forthcoming. She pointed to landscaping companies as one example of nonessential types of companies that should not be open.