Business leaders call on Michigan government for ‘unity of purpose’ against COVID-19



LANSING, Michigan (WJRT) – A group of 32 Michigan business leaders called on the state government to show “complete unity of purpose” in tackling the coronavirus pandemic as the number of cases increases.

Letter signed by executives of some of Michigan’s largest businesses, healthcare organizations, universities and unions calls for mandatory use of face coverings, occupational health and safety practices, and continued limits at gatherings.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and other state agencies this month issued orders covering all of these topics. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has already issued orders on these issues, but the Michigan Supreme Court struck down the law she used to pass them.

The letter from the business leaders indicates that the orders in place are now achievable and “we must now focus on deploying them with discipline”. They hope to avoid a costly second wave of COVID-19 as the number of cases and deaths rises in Michigan.

“Michigan cannot risk an out-of-control epidemic of the type currently underway in Wisconsin,” the letter said.

Leaders stress that not everyone is affected by the coronavirus in the same way, and state government leaders should be clear about this. But they say all age groups must accept responsibility for preventing the disease from spreading and affecting those most at risk.

Business leaders point out seven-day average of COVID-19 cases in Michigan exceeds spring peak, young adults no longer primary age group diagnosed with the disease, hospitalization rates rise , death rates remain high among older residents, and young people are reporting long-term health problems after coronavirus diagnoses.

The letter was sent to Michigan’s Republican-led legislature and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“We commend the Governor and the Legislature for working together on legislation to expand unemployment protections and provide common sense liability protections,” the letter said. “Now we need that same spirit of cooperation focused on containing the increase in the number of cases. “

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