Michigan’s governor again resists imposing new restrictions, as cases keep surging.


Michigan’s worst-in-the-nation coronavirus outbreak exhibits no indicators of abating. Daily stories of new cases proceed to climb. Hospitalizations are approaching peak ranges. And deaths are rising, too.

But Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who unapologetically locked down her state final yr, signaled again on Wednesday that she had no plans to impose new restrictions.

“Instead of mandating that we’re closing things down, we are encouraging people to do what we know works,” Ms. Whitmer stated, stressing {that a} masks mandate and occupancy limits remained in place within the state. “It’s not the policy problem. It is a variant and compliance problem.”

Ms. Whitmer finds herself overseeing a quickly escalating disaster with no straightforward options. Sixteen of the 17 metro areas with the best latest case charges within the nation are in her state, which has accounted for greater than 10 p.c of all U.S. cases reported within the final week.

The governor has additionally clashed publicly with the Biden administration, which has declined to send the extra vaccines she requested and as an alternative suggested a shutdown.

In the meantime, the state of affairs stays dire.

“Patients are again lining our hallways, like they were last spring,” stated Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical government, describing the state of affairs in Michigan hospitals. She added: “Just because something is open and legal, it does not mean that you should be doing it.”

Politically, imposing one other shutdown in Michigan would vary from tough to untenable, particularly given Ms. Whitmer’s tense relations with the Republicans who management the State Legislature. Earlier this week, State Representative Steve Johnson, a Republican, stated that ordering a new lockdown would quantity to “political suicide.” Even most Democrats have averted calling for such a step.

“It’s the governor’s decision, and to me it’s not a clear-cut decision one way or the other,” Mayor Mike Duggan of Detroit stated Wednesday. He blamed yard events and maskless non-public gatherings — not eating places or gyms — for driving up case stories in his metropolis.

“If she shuts these things down, and the gatherings are in private homes, have you really made an impact?” stated Mr. Duggan, a Democrat.

Instead of ordering a new shutdown, Ms. Whitmer spent a lot of her information convention on Wednesday speaking about the advantages of therapeutics, together with monoclonal antibodies, and urging folks to be open to these therapies if they’re given a Covid-19 analysis. She additionally pleaded with residents to put on masks and get vaccinated.

“We are seeing people abandoning the protocols, we are seeing more mobility,” Ms. Whitmer stated. “And the worst part is, we now have the existence of variants here in Michigan that are just easier to spread.”



Source link