Governor Whitmer Daily COVID Update 4/21/20

Below is an update on the 2019 Coronavirus outbreak as of 10:00 PM on 4/21/2020                      

UPDATE 

  • Governor Whitmer has worked alongside governors from across the country to best respond and fight COVID-19. Many of the choices she has made are not easy, but were necessary to protect as many lives as possible. Read more about her actions below: 

The New York Times: Gretchen Whitmer: I Have Made Gut-Wrenching Choices to Keep People Safe 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/21/opinion/gretchen-whitmer-coronavirus-michigan.html#click=https://t.co/5G4WYC72PS 

BY: GRETCHEN WHITMER April 21, 2020  

Since the first positive coronavirus cases were discovered in the United States, governors across the country have made tough choices to protect their citizens. From the beginning, Democratic and Republican governors took action because the health and well-being of our families and neighbors are our No. 1 priority. 

When it comes to fighting this virus, we are all on the same team. Right now, mankind has a common enemy, and it’s Covid-19. 

Governors have made gut-wrenching decisions in the face of a threat unlike any we’ve seen before. We have had to close school buildings for the rest of the academic year and to direct small-business owners who have spent a lifetime building their businesses to close their doors. We’ve had to close restaurants, movie theaters and barbershops and to limit in-state travel. 

I never imagined having to use the levers of my office this way to protect the people I serve. Each action taken weighs heavily on me. Each action has been informed by the best science and epidemiology counsel there is. These choices have been tough. They haven’t always been popular. And we will never know precisely how many lives were saved as a result. 

America’s families have made tough choices, too. We’ve missed birthdays, weddings and holidays we usually spend together. We’re grieving the loss of our freedom, our jobs, our business and, in the worst case, a loved one. As a mom, I was really looking forward to my daughter’s high school graduation ceremony. 

We’ve also made sacrifices that have taken a toll on our mental health. People are lonely and frustrated and would give anything for life to return to normal. And it will, as long as we all do our part. 

Americans everywhere are eager to get back to “normal.” Trust me, we governors are, too. 

But we need to get this right. That’s why I’m partnering with Govs. Mike DeWine of Ohio, Tony Evers of Wisconsin, Tim Walz of Minnesota, J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, Eric Holcomb of Indiana and Andy Beshear of Kentucky on a plan to reopen the economy across the Great Lakes region. Similar efforts are being led by governors on the West and East Coasts. 

Here in the Great Lakes region, we have called upon experts in health care, business, labor and education to work on a data-driven approach to re-engaging our states in a responsible manner. Re-engaging our economies will be based on facts, science and mitigating risk to public health. Moving too soon or too fast could very likely lead to a second wave of Covid-19. This would be catastrophic for our families, our health care systems and our businesses. 

During the flu pandemic of 1918, some cities lifted social-distancing measures too fast and too soon, and caused a second wave of cases. As a result, many cities were forced back to a quarantine posture for an even longer period of time. 

We must be smart and take every precaution to avoid a second wave. We must work with other states, other regions and the federal government to get this right. We must remember that the enemy is not one another, it is the coronavirus, a threat unconstrained by state lines or party registration. 

Re-engaging our economy won’t happen all at once. It will happen gradually. Over time, people will go back to work, restaurants will reopen and we will be able to spend time with our friends and loved ones. 

The speed with which this happens depends on us. We must be responsible and thoughtful, and we must understand the science and rely on the data when we make decisions. That’s true both for leaders across the country and for people everywhere who must do their part by staying home and staying safe for these next couple of weeks. 

The actions governors from both sides of the aisle have taken have saved lives and protected families from the spread of the virus — including leaders like Mr. DeWine, Laura Kelly in Kansas, Larry Hogan in Maryland, Andrew Cuomo in New York and Gavin Newsom in California. These governors and my colleagues in the Midwest have taken action to protect families, health care professionals and critical workers like grocery and child care workers. They have made tough choices because they knew keeping people safe was the right thing to do. I’m proud to be among their ranks. 

It’s been said, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” 

We will get through this and defeat our common enemy, together. 

  • Yesterday, the governor announced a partnership with CVS Health to provide drive-through Rapid COVID-19 Testing in Dearborn, part of the ongoing effort to expand testing for the virus statewide during the continuing pandemic.  The site will test 500-750 residents daily who are experiencing certain COVID-19-related symptoms and risk factors as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   

“We need COVID-19 testing now more than ever to get an accurate count of infections to help us continue flattening the curve of this unprecedented pandemic in every corner of our state,” Governor Whitmer said. “Our partnership with CVS Health is a significant step toward speeding up Michigan’s recovery and getting Michiganders back to a sense of normalcy in their daily lives.”   

 

  • Governor Garlin Gilchrist IIformer Lt. Governor Brian Calley and Michigan Association of CPAs President & CEO Bob Doyle, called on federal officials to reach an agreement and authorize additional funding to the Paycheck Protection Program funds from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  

More than 43,000 businesses in Michigan impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak received more than $10 billion in forgivable loans during the first round of PPP funding. Nationally, $349 billion was authorized for the initial round of PPP, all of which was committed by April 16 – less than two weeks after the application period opened – demonstrating the continued need for small business relief.  

“While tens of thousands of Michigan businesses were able to receive more than $10 billion of relief through the Paycheck Protection Program, there continues to be a significant need for additional resources to support our small businesses,” Lt. Governor Gilchrist said. “Additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program will be critical in helping our businesses keep their doors open and in protecting the livelihoods of their workers.”   

 

  • She also signed Executive Order 2020-56 which continues her previous order to allow pharmacists to dispense emergency refills of prescriptions for up to 60 days’ worth of supply for patients and require insurers to cover early refills for up to 90 days’ worth of supply during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The order will also allow pharmacists to dispense COVID-19 treatments according to government-approved protocols.

“Allowing Michiganders to have access to the prescriptions they need is essential during this crisis,” said Governor Whitmer. “By authorizing pharmacists to refill up to 60 days of medication for their patients, people can reduce their time traveling and stay home and stay safe to slow the spread of COVID-19.” 

 

  • The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced 967 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This brings the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 32,967. 

 

HAPPENING ACROSS STATE GOVERNMENT 

  • Yesterday, Michigan’s Economic and Workforce Task Force shared a video thanking everyone in Michigan for #DoingMIPartduring the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

 https://twitter.com/LARADirector/status/1252603759827566594 

 

  • Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the Michigan Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy is celebrating via livestream. They will teach children about the environment, Great Lakes, climate and energy as well as talk about the worldwide movement of Earth Day and the call to action in support of the environment and sustainability policies.  

https://twitter.com/MichiganEGLE/status/1252285673714876419 

 

RESOURCES 

 

MEDIA COVERAGE 

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