LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer appeared Tuesday before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to testify about the state’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
During her testimony Whitmer called on the federal government to help states to provide widespread COVID-19 testing to residents.
“Since I first declared an emergency in response to this pandemic, my administration has taken aggressive measures to fight the spread of COVID-19, prevent the rapid depletion of the state’s critical health care resources, and lower the chance of a devastating second wave,” said Governor Whitmer. “We need the White House to create a specific, long-term plan outlining how the federal government will ensure we have adequate testing supplies so we can gather the data we need to make informed decisions about re-engaging our economies. And we would all benefit from a guarantee of free testing nationwide coupled with a robust federal messaging campaign to encourage Americans to get tested.”
This is not the first time the governor has requested assistance from the federal government to ensure COVID-19 testing is widely available. Whitmer called on the federal government in April to help states acquire materials needed to ramp up testing -- which officials say is vital to help control the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 testing has since increased significantly in Michigan with more testing sites available and broader testing criteria required to receive a test. However the governor says federal assistance is required to ensure supplies are available more consistently and reliably as the state prioritizes COVID-19 testing.
Governor Whitmer announced Monday that the entire state can begin partially reopening businesses under the phased reopening MI Safe Start Plan. The state’s COVID-19 case and death numbers have been increasing at the slowest rates since March.