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Michigan Gov. Whitmer clarifies statement that she wouldn’t be ’bullied’ into reopening businesses

‘I’m not going to be pushed or encouraged or tweeted at to make a decision’

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her Sept. 2, 2020, coronavirus (COVID-19) press briefing.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her Sept. 2, 2020, coronavirus (COVID-19) press briefing. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – “Who was bullying you?” That’s what Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was asked during her coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing Wednesday, after she said she wouldn’t be “bullied” into reopening certain businesses.

“I think that’s simply a phrase that I’ve had to use a number of times throughout COVID-19,” Whitmer said.

The question came a week after Whitmer said, “I’m not going to be bullied into making that decision,” when asked about when gyms, bowling alleys and movie theaters would be allowed to reopen.

Those types of businesses have been shut down in lower Michigan since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they were a popular topic during Wednesday’s briefing.

Whitmer didn’t make an official decision, but she said residents can expect an announcement “in the coming days.”

“We will be making some determinations in the very near future,” Whitmer said.

On the topic of bullying, Whitmer said she wasn’t speaking about anyone in specific.

“The phrase that I used was simply meant to communicate that I’m not going to be pushed or encouraged or tweeted at to make a decision that isn’t supported by the best science, that doesn’t have the appropriate protocols,” Whitmer said.

Numbers by region

The overall number of positive COVID-19 cases per million people per day in the state of Michigan is at 59, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said. That number has declined in the last week.

The region with the highest case rate is still the Detroit Region, which is currently at 66 cases per million people per day. Khaldun said the case rate in the Detroit Region is declining, however.

The Grand Rapids Region is at 59 cases per million people per day. Khaldun said the case rate is increasing.

In the Saginaw Region, officials are reporting 56 cases per million people per day, and that number has decreased, Khaldun said.

The Kalamazoo Region is at 50 cases per million people per day, but the case rate is trending upward, according to authorities.

Case rates in the Traverse City Region and Upper Peninsula have increased over the last week to 40 cases per million people per day, she said.

Both the Jackson and Lansing regions are under 40 cases per million people per day and declining, Khaldun said.

The overall positive test rate in Michigan is at 3.1%, which has decreased in the last two weeks, she said.

Michigan is performing 30,000 tests per day, which was fifth in the United States last week, according to Khaldun.

More coverage

Here’s much more recent coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whitmer’s handling of pandemic:

Reopening Michigan:

Health questions, advice:

Vaccines:

Outbreaks:

Unemployment:

Individual stories:

Changes:


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