LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — On Monday evening, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a video addressing the Supreme Court's decision to rule against her COVID-19 emergency orders, while reminding Michiganders to remain vigilant in taking precautions during the pandemic.
Whitmer also called for bipartisanship in working with Republicans to address the virus and its impact on the economy.
COVID-19 didn’t stop being a threat because of the court ruling, because we’re tired of it, or because the legislature left town. We all have to do our part, because when it comes to fighting this virus, we are all in this together. pic.twitter.com/5LQwXO9UYi— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) October 6, 2020
"As a result of the court and legislatures action, our COVID-19 cases will likely go up. There will be uncertainty, disruption, and possibly greater risk to our economy, more people quarantined and more deaths," Whitmer said.
She added that the ruling doesn't mean that all mandated protections against the virus will go away. She stated that she plans to use additional powers to protect families.
Earlier in the day, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an emergency order reinstating the mask mandate and limitations gatherings.
The MDHHS put into place those orders under a Michigan law that was enacted after the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918, which was not at issue in the Supreme Court's decision. It allows the director of MDHHS to protect public health by prohibiting gatherings and establishing procedures during an epidemic.
In the video Whitmer released on Twitter and Facebook Monday night, she also called for Republicans to go back into session, and as a first order of business, codify her executive order on unemployment.
Without the continuation of Whitmer's executive order on unemployment, more than 800,000 Michiganders could lose benefits.
“We need this transition period to protect the 830,000 Michigan workers and families who are depending on unemployment benefits to pay their bills and put food on the table, and to protect Michiganders everywhere who are counting on their leaders to protect them,” the governor said in a statement.
For this reason, Whitmer is also asking the court to hold off and instead allow the ruling to go into effect Oct. 30.
"The CDC and public health experts agree that wearing masks and practicing safe physical distancing are crucial to slow the spread of the virus, protect our frontline workers, and keep our schools and small businesses open,” Whitmer said. “Michiganders, here’s what we need you to do: please take this virus seriously by wearing a mask when you go out, washing hands, and maintaining six feet of physical distance. Get a flu shot. Taking this action is essential to keeping our small businesses and schools open. COVID 19 didn’t stop being a threat because the court ruling, or because we’ve tired of it, or because the legislature left town."
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
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