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Macomb County executive unimpressed with Whitmer’s plan, urges her to ease up on stay-at-home order

Mark Hackel says Whitmer could allow more businesses to reopen

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel is unhappy with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, saying her reopening plan didn’t tell anyone anything and urging her to ease up on the stay-at-home order.

Hackel said he has been hearing from many businesses in Macomb County. He said Michigan was originally trying to flatten the curve, but now the goal post has moved to something he doesn’t even recognize.

UPDATE -- May 12, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 48,021; Death toll now at 4,674

Hackel said from everything he’s learned, the curve has been flattened.

“Even the hospitals are saying we’ve obtained that goal,” Hackel said. “Now we’re able to kind of make that a non-issue, so now the question is why are we still pushing forward with this nonessential open in a slow, progressive way? Doing that is causing a lot of concern.”

Hackel was unimpressed with Whitmer’s six-stage reopening plan that she rolled out last week.

“Let’s be honest -- once it came out, no one paid attention to it or is looking at it anymore,” Hackel said.

He called it “extremely complex,” and said it also doesn’t tell anyone anything.

“It’s a nice project someone put together, but for the general public, we get inundated with calls from the private sector saying, ‘What does it mean? Why can’t I open?’” Hackel said.

Local 4 asked Whitmer’s office about Hackel’s concerns.

“Gov. Whitmer is using the best facts and data provided to safely reengage our state in a way that protects working people and mitigates the likelihood of a second spike in cases,” a spokesperson said. “The MI Safe Start Plan she shared last week was intended to provide as clear of a vision as we can right now about what will come next, in what order, and how we will be making these important decisions.”

Hackel said he’s like to see some real data.

“What is it we are looking for?” Hackel asked. “Is it a percent less of people getting sick, a percent less of death? What is it specifically we’re looking for before we start opening up some of these businesses? I don’t think anyone has that answer."

Hackel said he wants to make sure everyone knows he wants a safe opening with social distancing, masks and all proper precautions. But he said businesses are perfectly capable of executing those protocols.


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