FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2020
Media Contact: Press@Michigan.gov
Governor Whitmer Releases Video Urging Michiganders to Wear a Mask and Practice Social Distancing to Keep Schools and Businesses Open and Protect Frontline Workers
LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer released a video on social media urging Michiganders, the legislature, the president, and Congress to do their part to protect families, frontline workers, and small businesses from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For the past seven months, I’ve been making the tough decisions that took us from the state with the 3rd highest cases of COVID-19 per million in March and April, to the 33rd highest in September. We have one of the best economic recoveries in the nation too. Studies concluded we saved thousands of lives,” said Governor Whitmer. “But after the Republican Legislature sued to take away my executive authority, this past Friday the Michigan Supreme Court struck down the statute under which I issued executive orders to save lives and protect Michigan families, frontline workers, and small businesses.
“As a result of the Court and the legislature’s action, our COVID-19 cases will very likely go up. There will be uncertainty, disruption, and possibly greater risk to our economy, more people quarantined, and more deaths.
“The ruling does not mean that the orders I issued violated the law. Although I disagree with the conclusion, the Court held the law is unconstitutional, meaning the legislature did not have power to pass the law in 1945. In fact, the Court made clear that I interpreted the 1945 law correctly. And the ruling does not mean all of the protections we have put in place will go away. I have additional powers that I will use to protect our families from the spread of this virus.”
Today, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon issued an Emergency Order under MCL 333.2253 restricting gathering sizes and requiring face coverings in public spaces. Under MCL 333.2253, if the MDHHS director determines that control of an epidemic is necessary to protect the public health, the director by emergency order may prohibit the gathering of people for any purpose and may establish procedures to be followed during the epidemic to insure continuation of essential public health services and enforcement of health laws.
“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,” said Governor Whitmer. “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.
“Let us not squander the sacrifice we have made to get to this point. We all have to do our part. You can protect the brave men and women on the front lines who are working every day to keep us safe. The health care workers and first responders, grocery store employees, child care workers, and all of the people who have been putting their lives on the line since day one.”