'People are still dying’: NAACP urges caution before reopening Michigan

NAACP urges caution before reopening Michigan
NAACP urges caution before reopening Michigan

DETROIT – Coronavirus (COVID-19) is killing African Americans at an alarming rate, especially in Detroit.

That’s why the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is urging Michigan leaders to use caution before reopening the state.

READ: Why is coronavirus (COVID-19) death rate so high for African Americans?

“What we’re simply saying is, ‘Don’t make your move too soon,'” Rev. Wendell Anthony with the NAACP said.

That’s the passionate request Anthony is making to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on behalf of the NAACP branch in Detroit.

Anthony made his request on a Zoom interview Friday. He said he knows the governor is getting pressured to return things back to normal but he said there’s so much at stake.

RELATED: Gov. Whitmer says she will provide more details about plan to reopen Michigan economy next week

“We can make the move here in Michigan and we’re not yet ready. Don’t listen to the pundits and the folks who just want to open up for the sake of just opening up. People are still dying,” Anthony said. “There’s not enough testing. There’s not enough recording in terms of where this pandemic is essentially eating up the lives of people we know. Forty percent of those deaths in Michigan are from Detroit, the African American community."

Anthony said many are talking about but not doing enough about the issue.

“Until we have more testing available and people can get tested without any kind of classification. Until we have testing in the neighborhoods around the city and we have logged the impact totally and with specificity as to the impact of black and brown people in the city of Detroit and around this state. I’m hesitant to do that,” Anthony said.

Whitmer mentioned that she could lift certain parts of the stay-at-home order on May 1, but Anthony is encouraging her to take her time.

“If they can assure and guarantee that ain’t nobody going to get COVID-19 on May 1, I’m good to go. But if you can’t, then I say, ‘Let’s be cautious’ you only have one time to get this right,” Anthony said.

About the Author:

Larry Spruill Jr. joined the Local 4 News team in January 2018. Prior, he worked at WJAX in Jacksonville, Florida. Larry grew up as a military kid because his father is a retired Chief of the United States Air Force.