Could Michigan’s economy start to reopen in May? Governor Whitmer sends mixed messages

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  • Darren Hood, Detroit Stock City

Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared the protest earlier today against her coronavirus stay-at-home order – in which people gathered in Lansing, many not wearing face masks and many disobeying distancing guidelines social by standing close to and touching each other – “maybe just created a need to lie down” by possibly spreading the virus further.

But on Friday the governor Appeared on Hello america saying she hopes to start “relaxing” the state’s stay-at-home order by May 1. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine had said he hoped to start reopening his state‘s economy by then.

Whitmer tempered his statement, saying: “It’s two weeks away, and the information, the data and our ability to test is changing so rapidly that it’s difficult to [predict] precisely where we will be in a week, let alone two. ”

She added, “Better to be six feet apart right now than six feet underground.”

Michigan Senate Republicans announced on Thursday a five-step plan to reopen the economy, which called for slow opening of businesses as the number of coronavirus cases declines. According to the plan, large gatherings like concerts and sports would be banned until the virus stops spreading for a month or a vaccine has been developed.

Also Thursday, Whitmer announced an alliance with six other Midwestern governors, including DeWine, to coordinate the reopening of their states’ economies. In a joint statement, the seven governors said that while efforts will be coordinated, it does not mean that states will take the same steps at the same time.

“Our number one priority when considering the best time to reopen our economy is the health and safety of our citizens,” the governors said in a statement. “We will make decisions based on facts, science and the recommendations of experts in healthcare, business, labor and education.”

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced an extension of the state’s stay-at-home order until May 26. For now, Michigan’s stay-at-home order runs through April, as does Illinois.

Of the Midwestern states, Michigan has been hit hardest by the coronavirus, with 28,059 cases reported to date and nearly 2,000 deaths. Illinois has over 24,593 cases and over 1,000 deaths, while Indiana has 8,955 cases, Ohio 7,791, Wisconsin 3,721, Kentucky 2,291 and Minnesota 1,862.

Nationally, Michigan has the third highest number of positive coronavirus cases and deaths, after New York and New Jersey.

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