LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said during her Wednesday briefing that “the vast majority of people” know her actions during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have helped save lives.
“I do not relish using any of these powers, but I will fight to save these powers for every successor who comes after me,” Whitmer said. “God forbid we ever have to go through something like this (again). As a resident of this state, I will want our governor to be able to do what they need to do to save lives, and that’s what we have done.”
Whitmer was responding to a question about a petition that seeks to remove her control over the state of emergency.
She said the effort to repeal the 1945 Act is dangerous and accused the organizers to using dishonest methods to collect signatures, such as claiming to be in support of Whitmer or encouraging people to sign others’ names.
“I think that there are a lot of concerns, but the biggest concern is this: If these powers weren’t in effect right now, we would look a heck of a lot more like Florida, and Florida is in a crisis and the governor did not follow the science, did not take the actions that that we took in Michigan, and more people have gotten sick and more people will have died,” Whitmer said.
Back in April, Michigan was the third-highest state in terms of COVID-19 cases, positivity rates and deaths despite being the 10th most populous, Whitmer said.
Now, Michigan is 40th, she said.
“Which shows that the actions we have taken have saved lives,” Whitmer said.
She asked that people decline to sign the petition aiming to strip her of her powers.
“We know these actions have saved us,” Whitmer said. “The vast majority of people get it in this state and support this. That’s precisely why we’re going to fight to keep these powers in this executive office so that a governor can take action to save lives.”
Cases by region
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun spoke about how the current case rates are trending across the eight Michigan regions.
The Detroit Region has the highest case rate at 61 cases per million people per day, according to Khaldun. She said that case rate is largely driven by counties outside the city of Detroit.
The Saginaw Region is the second highest at 54 cases per million people per day. This region has seen a slight increase in case rate over the past week, Khaldun said.
Despite seeing a decline over the past two weeks, the Kalamazoo Region has the third-highest case rate, at 50 cases per million people per day, she said.
The Upper Peninsula is at 47 cases per million people per day -- a slight decrease over the past week, Khaldun said.
The Grand Rapids Region has seen a slight decrease over the past two weeks and was at 34 cases per million people per day at the end of last week, she said.
Khaldun lumped the Traverse City, Jackson and Lansing regions together, saying they’re all between 20-30 cases per million people per day. The Jackson and Lansing regions have seen recent decreases, while the Traverse City Region has seen a slight increase, she said.
Here’s much more recent coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whitmer’s handling of pandemic:
Health questions, advice: