Michigan business leaders urge Whitmer, Republicans to unite on COVID

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What Michigan needs, according to the letter, “is full unity of purpose and a strong collective response across our state.” We call on our heads of government to promote this unity. “

It’s a reference to months of sniping between Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Republican legislature on the governor’s emergency power authority since the pandemic struck in March, efforts in which Anderson and MERC were instrumental. The Michigan Supreme Court ruling on October 2 quashed Whitmer’s executive orders, ending Whitmer’s ability to issue executive orders without input from the legislature.

Since then, Whitmer and the legislature have had to agree on which of his orders to codify into law, including those extending unemployment benefits. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHSS) has since issued his own orders, such as the compulsory wearing of the mask, which were similar to those of Whitmer.

Republican leaders in the Legislature continue to oppose measures Democrats are taking to control the virus, which include occupancy limits on businesses and social gatherings. More recently, their discussions have ranged from collective immunity policies (promoted by some Republicans, which Democrats oppose) to set up a local supervisory authority to withdraw from state foreclosure orders if warranted.

The result, Anderson said in an interview with Bridge Michigan on Wednesday, is public confusion and an increased risk of the virus spreading.

This confusion, he added, manifested itself in public behavior. People showed up in hospitals, stores and supermarkets without masks, while outbreaks were linked to social gatherings. All of this increased the risk of further public spread, Anderson help.

“When behaviors change, results change,” Anderson said. (Disclosure: The DTE Energy Foundation is a funder of the Center for Michigan, which includes Bridge Michigan.)


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