(WXYZ) — President Donald Trump called the recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling a "BIG win."
The Michigan Supreme Court on Friday struck down months of orders by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that were aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus, saying she illegally drew authority from a 1945 law that doesn’t apply.
On Wednesday morning, Trump retweeted a video from the group Young Americans for Liberty of Whitmer.
In his tweet, Trump urged Michigan to "open up your churches and your schools."
He also credited himself for auto companies expanding in the state.
We just got a BIG win for the people of Michigan. Open up your Churches and your Schools. Auto companies pouring in and expanding (thank you Mr. President!). Have fun! https://t.co/Bmj9f32DZV— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020
A couple hours later, Gov. Whitmer responded to the president's tweet, urging him to "get to work" on a COVID-19 relief package for the American people.
Mr. President, millions of hardworking Americans are relying on you for a COVID-19 relief package. Get to work. https://t.co/vBeWt2KXCd— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) October 7, 2020
In a press conference Tuesday, Whitmer said Michigan's COVID-19 cases could likely go up as a result of the ruling. She said there will be uncertainty, disruption and possibly greater risk to the economy.
On Monday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced they are instituting restrictions on gathering sizes, requiring face coverings in public spaces, and placing limitations on bars and other venues in Michigan.
“The churches are open. And when it comes to schools they are making decisions district by district to do that,” said Mark Hackel, Macomb County Executive (D).
Hackel says he feels the president’s tweet was misleading. He says churches and schools can open, and should consider opening only if they and health experts believe they can do so safely, not because of a politician’s opinion.
Dr. Robert Livernois, the Superintendent of Warren Consolidated Schools, says the presidential pressure will not impact policy in its district, which is currently mostly only doing virtual learning.
“There really isn’t any external force that is going to sway us to open too quickly, or try to jam too many kids in school or lift a mask mandate because we know this is about protecting our children and the staff that serve them,” said Dr. Livernois.
The Archdiocese of Detroit has issued guidelines to its churches in recent months calling for masks and worshiping at a limited capacity. It says Archbishop Vigneron developed them with medical experts and, “As a result, they are not affected by the Michigan Supreme Court ruling will remain in place until further notice.”
For analysis of president’s comment that auto companies are pouring in and expanding in Michigan we went to the Center for Automotive Research. It says it is often hard to connect a president to investment as big business decisions are often made over the course of years. To examine cause and effect it seeks policies that lead to decisions.
“Trade has become much more restrictive and there are many more tariffs on some of the inputs into the auto industry so it has made it a little bit more costly. Certainly the pandemic is not helping the industry all that much. Demand is holding up stronger than we expected, but it is still going to be a down year for production and sales. The pandemic is out of any politician’s hands that it happened, but how we respond to it is a policy response,” said Kristen Dziczek, who is Vice President of Industry, Labor & Economics at the Center for Automotive Research.
Dziczek says we are seeing continued growth in the auto industry in Michigan.
“Since 2017 when President Trump took office, Michigan has gotten about $11 billion. If you look at a comparable 3.5 year period before that, Michigan has gotten about we got $16 billion. There are different amounts of investment in different years and certainly, in years that the United Auto Workers negotiates with GM, Ford, and Chrysler those are years that there are a lot of announcements made. There is one of those in 2015 and one of those in 2019, in each of those periods,” she said.