DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was working Thursday at Lafayette Coney Island in Detroit, serving coney dogs as she campaigns to open up the state’s restaurants safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“I wanted to get in and work alongside people that are showing up and doing it safely so people know we’re open for business, you can come in and enjoy this phenomenal food and do so safely,” she said.
Whitmer believes there is a light at the end of the proverbial pandemic tunnel for Michigan. The state has been getting recognition for work done to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but Whitmer continues to take a conservative approach.
“We can’t let our guard down. It is no time to spike the football, but we’ve come a long way. We’ve got more work to do, but if we all keep our guard up and do the right thing, we’re going to get there,” she said.
She spent some time in the kitchen learning how to make the Coneys, and how to make a “loose.” It’s a steamy day in Detroit, making the kitchen even more challenging for someone new to the job.
“It’s hard and it’s hot,” she said.
As for choosing Lafayette Coney Island over next-door rival American Coney Island, it came down to family loyalty.
“This is where my dad brought me growing up. That’s what I knew. We’re going to go over (to American) and say hi after I’m done here. This isn’t about endorsements, but this is where I grew up, so this is where I came,” said the governor.
Whitmer wants people to feel safe about eating at restaurants, which were allowed to open up their dining rooms to customers on June 8. Restaurants are limited to 50% capacity, and there are fewer tables due to social distancing. The governor wants safety measures taken by both restaurant workers and customers, reiterating the need for masks.
“We want to make sure people know you can safely go into a business like this, grab a bite to eat, take it with you or dine in, you can do the social distancing and be safe,” she said.