Whitmer predicts ‘uncertainty, disruption, risk to economy’ in Michigan after coronavirus orders struck down

Whitmer believes COVID-19 cases will increase as result of court’s decision

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer talked about the state's coronavirus (COVID-19) situation during an Oct. 6, 2020, news conference about voting safety. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich.Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Michigan will have to grapple with uncertainty, disruption and greater risk to the economy after the state’s Supreme Court struck down her coronavirus (COVID-19) executive orders last week.

The governor spoke about the recent back-and-forth over coronavirus restrictions in the state before a news conference about voting safety in Michigan. Her comments come a day after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a new order requiring masks, restricting gatherings and limiting some businesses in Michigan.

Whitmer said her actions throughout the coronavirus pandemic have saved “thousands of lives,” but accused the Republican-led legislature and the Michigan Supreme Court of putting those lives at risk.

“As a result of this action, with the court’s action, the legislature’s action, our COVID-19 cases could likely go up,” Whitmer said. “There will be uncertainty. There will be disruption, and possibly greater risk to our economy, to our loved ones, possibly more people quarantined and more fatalities.”

Whitmer made a point of clarifying that the court’s ruling didn’t mean her orders violated the law, but rather ruled the 1945 law she relied on to issue her orders without the legislature’s approval unconstitutional.

“For the past seven months, I’ve been making the tough decisions,” Whitmer said. “It took us from a state with the third highest number COVID-19 cases per million back in March and April -- now we are the 33rd highest in September."

Whitmer said she hopes Michigan residents will continue to follow the science by wearing masks, socially distancing and washing their hands frequently.

More coverage

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

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.