DETROIT – Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, NAACP president of Detroit branch, said in a statement Thursday the state of Michigan is not ready to go back to business as usual during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said there still isn’t enough testing in Michigan and not everyone in the state has access to healthcare or testing.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday that she and other governors in the Midwest are planning to re-open the region’s economy.
“To open up before the state is ready would be disastrous. It would set back the current progress that is being made to fight this disease,” Rev. Wendell said. “We need more tests, greater access to healthcare throughout the community, more PPE for healthcare workers, and a government that is committed to ending the socio-economic and racial disparities existing in Detroit and other urban areas.”
As of Friday morning, Detroit alone has 7, 383 cases.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said 35% of nursing home residents who’ve been tested, have COVID-19. He called it a “crisis in the nursing homes” and said the city plans to test thousands of people in the following week, especially nursing home residents.
Rev. Wendell said people must listen to the advice of scientists and doctors.
“We must not be seduced by the political sirens working for their re-election. African Americans are not very anxious to open up a process that simply leads us right back to the same old mess,” he said.
“As a minister, I want to open up my church and feed my flock, but not in a pasture that might choke them to death. We must not make our move too soon. We must get this thing right because death is still lurking in the shadows in the event we get it wrong.”