“I’m over living in a dictatorship that we call Michigan,” Kelly Stafford said in an Instagram story. “I understand there’s a pandemic, and I understand it’s very scary. I’m scared of it too. If you are in risk, do not leave your house until there’s a vaccine. But shutting down all these small businesses -- things that people have worked their life for -- shutting them down again is not the answer, because they will not make it.”
Her comments come on the second day of Michigan’s three-week COVID-19 “pause,” which banned indoor dining at restaurants, shut down in-person classes for college and high school students and, perhaps most relevant for the Stafford family, banned all attendance for sporting events.
The Lions had been allowing 500 friends and family members attend games at Ford Field, but when asked about that during Sunday’s announcement of the new restrictions, Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, shut it down.
“No attendance means no attendance,” Gordon said.
Kelly Stafford said she feels bad for small business owners, as well as people infected with COVID-19 and hospitals.
“I do not like living in a place where they tell me what I can and cannot do,” she said.
Here are the full comments from Kelly Stafford’s Instagram story:
“So I’m going to be very blunt: I’m so over it. I’m over living in a dictatorship that we call Michigan. I understand there’s a pandemic, and I understand it’s very scary. I’m scared of it too. If you are at risk, do not leave your house until there’s a vaccine.
“But shutting down all these small businesses -- things that people have worked their life for -- shutting them down again is not the answer, because they will not make it. So once we are able to leave our house, once this dictatorship decides to let us have some freedom, there will be nothing left.
“I’m just over it. I see all these people and it brings me, like, to tears. I — and believe me, I know there’s people out there that are stating, ‘That’s really ignorant of you. How could you say that?’ Listen, I know not everybody’s going to agree with me. Not everybody’s going to agree with my every move I make. That’s life, OK? We state our opinions, we move on.
“This is my opinion. I feel for these small businesses. It’s not that I don’t feel for people that have COVID, or the hospitals. I do. But this is my opinion. I do not feel like — I do not like living in a place where they tell me what I can and cannot do. I live once. Again, this is my opinion. You have yours, everyone has their own, and we chalk it up to that.”
Midwest governors seek federal aid for businesses
Michigan, along with several other states and cities, has implemented new restrictions in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, specifically targeting gatherings in public spaces, such as restaurants and movie theaters.
States themselves cannot bail out businesses. Governors across the country have been calling on Congress to pass another relief bill to help businesses survive.
On a conference call Tuesday among Democratic governors from the Midwest, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers called for a sequel to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act adopted by Congress in March.
“There are workers and families and farmers and small businesses that are going to need our help, and frankly, we can’t do it alone,” Evers said. “We’re going to need a robust federal support system to help our states and economies recover beyond the federal CARES funds that expires at the end of the year.”
In a news conference Tuesday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, made a similar push.
“Everyone on both sides of the aisle in Washington needs to come together and finally get this done for the American people,” Hogan said.