Apr 12, 2021

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer COVID-19 Press Conference Transcript April 12

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer COVID-19 Press Conference Transcript April 12
RevBlogTranscriptsCOVID-19 Briefing & Press Conference TranscriptsMichigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer COVID-19 Press Conference Transcript April 12

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s April 12, 2021 coronavirus press conference. Read the full transcript of her COVID-19 news briefing speech with updates on vaccine distribution here.

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Debbie Dingell: (15:03)
With everyone, with the community members, the elected officials, would all the elected officials who’ve been nonstop on the phone, on this for three months, raise your hand so we can all give you a huge thank you? Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I game you all, but you know I love you, but we’re here at a critical moment and I obviously am very happy that the governor is here. You’re going to meet a lot of people. The providers that have made this site. This site’s been in operation for 12 weeks. I think that there isn’t anybody here that hasn’t heard my intensity, and the intensity of a lot of the elected officials, but we’re getting shots in the arms. And that’s what matters right now.

Debbie Dingell: (15:48)
Right now, our nation and especially Michigan is still under a public health emergency from COVID-19. And that’s why we’re here. And like it or not, Michigan’s getting more attention than we want; we’re the number one state with the number one number of cases. Nine out of 10 of the largest cities with COVID are in Michigan and it’s not good, and we got to work it, and it’s all of our responsibilities. Our state has surpassed 100,000 active COVID cases in the last week. That should bother everybody. The highest number since mid November. For six weeks, COVID 19 positivity rates have been on the rise, bringing the current seven day average to 15.6%. And what worries me more than anything… I mean, it all worries me. I’ve lost too many people. I have lost family and friends to this virus. We may be sick of the virus, but this virus isn’t sick of us. It isn’t; that’s the problem. Cases among kids 10 to 19 have risen higher than any other age group due to in-person learning and youth sports. The week of April 3rd, Michigan had the highest positivity rate and hospitalizations in the country. St. Joseph’s here, I want to thank every frontline worker to those that have been here, to those that are taking care of people in the hospital.

Debbie Dingell: (17:23)
Hospitalizations have spiked 274% in one month. We can’t ignore it, but why are we here in [Ypsilanti 00:17:32]? Well, we’ve all been begging. We’ve had issues. We had a supply problem at the beginning. You’re going to hear from Pastor Davis and others. [Jeff Irwin 00:17:41], I got to mention him, because he was there with me, all the state legislators, the County commissioners, everybody’s worked really hard and we had a lot of town hall meetings. First tried to get the vaccine, and now we still have a problem; we got to get people back sedated. We got to get vaccines supplied, get it into the arms of people, and I’m going to talk about that in a minute, but we also have to help people overcome their fear. We can’t ignore the very serious health disparities that exist in the Black and Latina communities, and how those disparities have put our Black and Latino neighbors and friends at greater risk for COVID-19. It’s all important, it’s all connected, and it’s got to be addressed. And the fact of the matter is, there’s been a disparate impact of COVID, and a higher number of deaths in the African-American community. It’s not right, but we got to protect our neighbors, we got to protect our community, and that’s why getting vaccine into Ypsy and Ypsilanti township has mattered so much. It has. It does.

Debbie Dingell: (18:51)
We’re here in Ypsy to talk about the vaccines. We’re here to help our neighbors and spread the word about getting the protection needed to save lives, and jumpstart our economy, and get people back to work. But you can’t work if you’re not living. You can’t work if you’ve got long haul. So first we got to deal with COVID, and if we’re going to get any sense of a normal life back, we got to get vaccinated period. And that’s why mobile vaccination sites are important. We need to bring the vaccines closer to home and ensure equity in this rollout process. So I’m really happy to announce this, working with the governor, her team, public Health Department in Washtenaw. And the Public Health Department here in Washtenaw has been wonderful too. So we got to tell them that. We’re going to have future sites at… We do.

Debbie Dingell: (19:41)
Here are future sites we’re going to have in this community, you don’t have to write them all down, the Governor’s Office and we will put out a press release immediately following this, but in Ypsy, we’re going to have the Second Baptist Church of Ypsilanti on April 20th, 10:00 to 1:00. On April 21st, the New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church in Ypsilanti 2:00 to 7:00. This is going to be a large drive-through clinic. Brown Chapel is going to have one on April 26 from 2:30 to 6:00. We have Saint Francis Church EMU tomorrow is going to be from 10:00 AM to 3:00. And it’s going to be doing our restaurant workers, our food and processing grocery store workers. [inaudible 00:20:35] As of last Monday, a week ago today, everybody in Michigan that’s 18 and over is eligible for a vaccine. So kids, we need you to sign up to and Pfizer has gone to the CDC to get authorization for 12 to 18. U of M is going to be hosting college kids at the big house in Meyer. Eastern is taken care of it. President Smith, thank you for hosting us. More importantly, thank you Eastern for being a host here for 12 weeks and making this available.

Debbie Dingell: (21:11)
So I want to say one last thing. And then I want to introduce our very special guest who’s been helping, who’s here today to highlight it. I was afraid to get this. I mean, I was really afraid. I told everybody, I even told the Lieutenant Governor, “I’m going to get it, but if I die, nobody else will get it.” And a lot of people didn’t. I mean, I thought I might, I was that afraid. And I probably talked to 10 doctors and my doctors are at Michigan, I was lucky enough to be able to talk to Tony Fauci, and Francis Collins, the infectious disease doctors at Walter Reed. If you were a doctor and you knew me, you were talking to me about this. Because I got something called [inaudible 00:21:53] when I was the age of most of the students here after a swine flu shot.

Debbie Dingell: (21:58)
But I’m not going to have a normal life unless I get that vaccine. And none of us are going to have a normal life unless we get that vaccine. So we need to acknowledge the fear we need to, hey, it’s real. I was really scared, but I got it, and by the way, I’m standing here today being Debbie. So we got it, and I also so said, “I will go with anybody to get their shot.” So we really need people, we got to get these vaccines.

Debbie Dingell: (22:26)
Now I’m really honored that my friend and our governor has come to Ypsilanti and has been listening. She knows how important it is to this community to get vaccinating into the community and get shots in arms. So please welcome a governor who has I tell you, I’ve been talking to her nonstop since last March. I know how personally she takes the healthcare of every single Michigan resident, how she feels the personal responsibility for their health and their life. She’s had some really awful moments this last year, and she’s working hard every day for the health of Michigan. And I welcome her to Ypsilanti this morning. Please. Welcome Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer: (23:15)
Thank you. All right, Congresswoman Dingell, Pastor Larry Davis, Alonzo Lewis, [Hemena Loveluck 00:23:28]. Yeah. What a lovely name. I love that. EMU and the leadership here in all the healthcare professionals from the County Health Department. This really is a Testament to what we are capable of when we work together, when we see the humanity in one another and we work toward a common goal. So I am thrilled to be here. I have found the most joyful places across the country or maybe around the world and certainly here in Michigan, our vaccination centers, because this is what hope looks like. So we are thrilled to be here, I know Congresswoman Dingell and I are thrilled to be here at the Convocation Center, vaccination site. This site, and many like it across the state are helping us to reach our goal of getting to 70% of Michiganders vaccinated as we race against variants, and work hard to save lives, and put this pandemic behind us. To date, Michigan has administered over 5.1 million doses of the safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines to over 3.2 million Michiganders. So that’s 5 million doses in less than four months, to nearly 40% of our state. And we’re speeding up. I know everyone gets tired of my analogies, but I said, this is like a locomotive; it’s going to be bumpy, and frustrating, and cumbersome at first, but it’s moving faster and smoother as we have gotten a little further down the tracks.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer: (24:58)
So we went from 4 million to 5 million doses in just two weeks, so a million doses in two weeks to show you how quickly we are moving. Last Tuesday, my oldest daughter, and I went to Ford Field and got our first dose of the vaccine. And Dr. Khaldoon administered it. Over 183 million doses have been administered nationwide, just smashing through President Biden’s audacious goal of a 100 million in a hundred days. So we are exceeding that. Almost 45% of American adults have gotten their first shot, and over one in four are fully vaccinated, including over 60% of seniors, nationally, which is why these mortality rates have really decreased. So these are hopeful, inspiring numbers, and they are a testament to what we are capable of when we work together.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer: (25:51)
All Michiganders 16 and older eligible to get vaccinated now. It is the most effective way to get to some normalcy that we all crave. So I urge everyone to make their appointment to get their shot, whether it’s at the pharmacy, or it is a drive-through location, or one of the mobile clinics that Congresswoman Dingell spoke of, or one of the community sites. There is light at the end of this tunnel, but we know that we have seen a recent rise in cases, and that it should serve as a reminder that we are still very much in the tunnel. And the only way out is if we move forward, and if we move together. We do have the tools we need. We know what it takes to stay safe. It means masking up, it means social distancing, it means washing your hands, staying home, avoiding crowded gatherings, especially when they’re indoors, and it means getting vaccinated. So you can stay out of the hospital, which is a great way to thank the nurses, and doctors, and all the people who’ve been on the frontline and who are exhausted, frankly. We should recognize those frontline workers, many of whom are here with us today. We are grateful for the incredible fortitude and tireless efforts they have made on all of our behalf.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer: (27:08)
I know Michiganders have made extraordinary sacrifices over the last year, both Congresswoman Dingell and I, and every one of us here wants to get back to normal, as much as everyone else. I know, Representative [inaudible 00:27:20] and Representative Peterson and Senator Irwin would like to as well. So we have been working credibly hard to make sure that we’ve got what we need to get people vaccinated, and that includes lobbying for additional vaccines to come into Michigan. That includes really being grateful for the offer of additional therapeutics, and boots on the ground. Mobile testing and vaccination units. I’m grateful that we have got a bipartisan delegation of our Congress, or congressional delegation that has stepped up, that’s been led by Congresswoman Dingell and Congressman Upton to echo our call for more assistance to Michigan.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer: (28:02)
We’ve been doing this for a year now, and we’re tired. Every one of us is tired of this. I am too, but we’ve got to grit our teeth, and keep moving forward. We’re making great progress. We are getting close. So just as we have stepped up to prioritize areas of our state where there’s greater needs, like sending the National Guard here to FC another incredible tool that we are using together. We are going to continue to work with the federal government to make sure that we’ve got everything we need to take care of Michiganders. Because we know this: what’s happening in Michigan today can be happening in other States, or other parts of the country tomorrow. And that’s why it’s important to squash this, and use everything at our disposal to do that.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer: (28:44)
So we cannot do this alone events like today, what’s happening here every day is really important, but everyone of us has to do our part. Every one of us has to do our part. And that’s why we’re asking Michiganders across the state to step up game. Double down on your mask wearing, and I’ve called for people to voluntarily take actions to get this number down. That means not eating indoors, all right? Go out to dinner or lunch, but sit outside or get takeout. It means hopefully, voluntarily curtailing children’s sports. It means doing your part to make sure that we get these numbers down. So this is a team effort and I want to stress that we still have public health rules in place to keep people safe. We still have a mask mandate, unlike a lot of States. We still have limits on indoor gatherings; 25 or less. And just because 25 is permissible, doesn’t mean it’s ideal. We have to take a hard look beyond the data, and to ensure that we are making decisions based on what the numbers are, what the spread is, what the context is, and what our vaccines look like. And that’s exactly what we will continue to do. So my ask to all of you is if you were one of the few people who didn’t raise your hand, when I asked him who’d had their first-

Gretchen Whitmer: (30:03)
… Is if you were one of the few people who didn’t raise your hand when I asked who had their first shot, to make that appointment today to help your neighbors who maybe are having a struggle to get an appointment, help them navigate the system, help make sure that your loved ones know how to get a vaccine and that they can be confident in doing that as well. And with that, I’d like to hand it over to Jimena Loveluck from the Washtenaw County Health Department. Thank you.

Jimena Loveluck: (30:33)
Thank you so much, Governor Whitmer, and thank you everyone for joining us today. We’re grateful Governor Whitmer and Congresswoman Dingell for your strength and support. There’s nothing easy about being a leader during a pandemic. We appreciate your tireless efforts to protect public health and to ensure we have the resources to do so. We’re grateful for our partners, faith and community leaders, volunteers, and of course our amazing Washtenaw County Health Department staff, and for St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital, you continue to go beyond in your care of our community. Your staff continues to help us give vaccinations here every week and has for over nine weeks now. Thank you. Eastern Michigan University, you continue to be excellent and supportive hosts for going on 12 weeks of mass vaccination efforts. Thank you.

Jimena Loveluck: (31:37)
We’ve seen COVID-19 expose existing racial disparities, and we must address the historical and systemic inequities that underlie them. Our partners, including faith and community leaders, have worked with us tirelessly and collaboratively to bring services and resources where most needed. Thank you for your partnership to strengthen our county’s response. We have so much more to do, yet we are making progress. Washtenaw County Health Department has administered over 65,000 vaccine doses. Almost 80% of our seniors 65 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 43% of all eligible Washtenaw County residents 16 years of age and older have received their first dose.

Speaker 8: (32:35)

Jimena Loveluck: (32:38)
Yes, celebrate. We have vaccinated in neighborhoods, affordable and senior housing, churches, schools, shelters, jails, and in the homes of our home bound seniors. An additional 2,500 doses were provided in areas with high social vulnerability index demonstrating what we know that trusted messengers, including faith and community leaders, are instrumental in organizing and promoting vaccination efforts to reach particularly the black and LatinX community. Thank you for your work, Pastor Davis. And here at the EMU Convocation Center, almost 100 staff and volunteers administer 1400 doses per day and thousands per week. We continue to race against more loss. Now we have hope.

Jimena Loveluck: (33:37)
We have it in the form of effective, safe vaccines. While vaccine supply has recently increased, we welcome and are prepared for more. Together we can continue to give them as quickly as possible and in the most equitable manner, protecting individuals and our entire community with each and every shot. And before I close, let me just say, if anyone hasn’t gotten vaccinated yet and would like to get the Johnson & Johnson one shot vaccine, we have five or six extra doses. So you could get yours today if you would like. Just let us know. Thank you, stay safe. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize, I’m sorry. I am now introducing Alonzo Lewis from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor. Thank you.

Alonzo Lewis: (34:39)
Thank you Jimena, and our collaboration partnership over the last year has been outstanding. As Jimena said, my name is Alonzo Lewis. I’m the President of St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston hospitals, and we are part of the Trinity Health Michigan Health System here in the State of Michigan. It’s been a very challenging time and a rough year for us all, particularly for those in healthcare. First, when COVID initially hit through a second surge in the fall, then the excitement and rush to create vaccine distribution models to get shots in arms during the winter, and now as we experience a third surge. I’d be remiss if I didn’t take an opportunity to thank our healthcare workers. I can’t thank them enough for their constant dedication and tireless work during these last 13 months.

Alonzo Lewis: (35:37)
They continue to provide around the clock care seven days a week at the bedside, in our emergency rooms, at doctor’s offices, in our outpatient facilities. They were tapped to do COVID-19 testing and more recently they’ve been volunteering to be vaccinators. The commitment of our healthcare workers is truly unparalleled. On the vaccination front at St. Joe’s, we spring into action in December, standing up a vaccine clinic at the north entrance of our hospital, quickly vaccinating our healthcare workers and expanding our services to eligible populations in our community. We administered more than 24,000 doses before partnering with the Washtenaw County Health Department to transition our clinic to this location here at Eastern Michigan University. And we did that to create greater access for our community. We recognized early on that by listening to our community, we needed to help ensure that our distribution efforts were equitable.

Alonzo Lewis: (36:47)
St. Joe’s is working hard to meet community need, especially for those who don’t have easy access to traditional vaccine channels. This work is occurring in deep partnership with the Washtenaw County Health Department, with Michigan Medicine, and the Washtenaw County Office of Equity. By providing vaccine and vaccinators at pop-up clinics, by making proactive calls to those in areas with high rates of COVID and social vulnerability, and by providing assistance such as transportation to vaccine clinic, our hope is that we can reach those most in need in an effort to change the tide of the pandemic in our community. And we have many people here today being vaccinated as a result of these intentional efforts. Those of us in health care do what we do every day because we wanted to make a difference. We want to help people, whether it’s caring for the most ill or finding ways to deliver a vaccine to those in need.

Alonzo Lewis: (37:53)
We are grateful for the support and partnership of our Governor Whitmer, Congresswoman Dingell, and all of our state and local legislators, and we appreciate the tremendous support during these times of extreme challenges. While we continue to face the challenge of a growing number of COVID patients in our hospitals statewide, we are optimistic about the increasing number of Michigan residents receiving their vaccine and we remain committed to the partnerships formed in Washtenaw County and across the state to ensure that we are playing a significant role in overcoming this pandemic. And lastly, we encourage all Michigan residents 16 years of age and older to get your vaccine. Now let me take an opportunity to welcome Pastor Larry Davis to the podium. Larry Davis is a pastor of the Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church in Ypsilanti and he’s been the recipient of many of these outreach efforts. Pastor?

Larry Davis: (39:04)
To our honorable Governor, Governor Whitman, to our Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, and to all of you, all of the constituents here today, I don’t know how I got here because I came here just to be here. And so I come here today looking like a hero, and I’m not a hero. I’m a team member. And what that entails is that I might be here and you looking at me, but this started with Brenda McKinney right there. Pastor [inaudible 00:39:57] President of Ministers Alliance, Bishop Dwight Walls, Overseer of the Church of God In Christ, and myself as President of the Covenant Pastors Fellowship. Brenda came to me, called me up, and she was very distraught because she hadn’t had a shot and I hadn’t had a shot and we all was reading the newspaper.

Larry Davis: (40:21)
At that time, blacks was seven to one, whites was seven to one. And so the conversation came through. I asked Brenda, I said, “If you will call up your politician friends and I’ll call up the clergy and we’ll have a meeting and try to pull this together.” And at that meeting, I think we had all the County commissioners, we had Congresswoman Dingell, we had the directors of the health department, everybody on that line was movers and shakers. And so it took the movers and shakers to get us where we are today as a team, because there’s no I in team. It is always, if we got to do anything and we got to beat this COVID, we must remain a team.

Larry Davis: (41:21)
And so I like to say that as we was meeting, we met with the County Administrator, Greg Dill. And as we was talking to Greg Dill, we said, “We are tired. Are you all making plans for us and then tell us to come? We want to sit at the table.” Greg Dill made that possible. And sitting at the table, they already had a plan. The health department, Miss Jimena Lovelock and her staff. The first thing they rolled out was a nurse on the run program for seniors that couldn’t get out. You wouldn’t believe some of the ages of those seniors that was never going to get a shot if it had not been for that program. We rolled out people-

Gretchen Whitmer: (42:28)
I fell like I should save the State of Michigan.

Larry Davis: (42:33)
Fair enough. Okay. The State of Michigan got all the credit there. Some of those seniors was as old as 102 years old. 99, 98. And over 300 of those people that has been vaccinated in the last two and a half months. Then we suggested that in the black community, as you know, everything always has gone through the church. If people break a fingernail, they come to the pastor and say, “My nail broke.” That’s how engaged as a community is in the black church with the pastors. So we suggested that we would like to have pop-up clinics run through our church. And as of today, Christian Tabernacle was the first, which I pastor, Bethlehem Ann Arbor, second Baptist Cincinnati, Brown Chapel, and New Covenant Baptist Church all have had successful pop-up clinics. And I’d like to say that we would like to have more because people are coming out… This thing about, ” I can’t trust it.” Well, they trust us, our faces. [inaudible 00:44:05].

Larry Davis: (44:05)
And if we are going to get this into safety and get this under control, you can’t leave out the church. You can’t leave the church out. That’s why I suggested it. I talked to one of the people on our staff and our group, Bishop Dwight Walls. He wanted to know why the Church of God and Christ had not got a clinic. And I said, “Well, I’m going to ask them.” I said, “But you know the thing about the Church of God In Christ? They are really supportive of each other. If you want to have a rollout clinic, you get the Church of God In Christ involved.” But I didn’t get up here to say all that, but I cannot overlook our Governor, who, with tenacity and how she’s been slandered, ” That Woman from Michigan,” and all that. And she has been-

Larry Davis: (45:03)
That woman from Michigan, and all that, and she has been able to stand. And we got to stand with our Governor. She took things in large stands that many people would’ve caved in by now.

Larry Davis: (45:16)
Debbie Dingell, she’s running all around the world trying to save us. It takes leaders like that, that don’t fall under pressure. So I’m just going to give some people some credit, and then I’m going to sit down. Brenda McKinney, Superior Township Treasurer. Crystal Campbell. Oh man. I told Greg, he ought to give her a raise. I worked this young lady to death. She’s the program and communication manager for Washtenaw County Racial Equity Office.

Larry Davis: (45:55)
And I’ve called her Sunday night and Sunday morning. I’ve called her Saturday night, Saturday morning. I’ve called her when she’s working, I’ve called her when she was off, and she never said, I’m off today. Don’t call me. She has always stepped up to the charge. And if anybody had been in the background that have really put their all in this, it has been Crystal Campbell.

Larry Davis: (46:24)
Ms. [Emina 00:46:27] Lovelock, director. Crystal Campbell. I’ll wind it up. People that have worked with me, all the county commissioners, Melissa Redding, [Loveeda 00:46:41] Weathers, Judy Bass, [inaudible 00:46:45], and all of the passengers on the Washtenaw County. And so, those are the ones that have been heroes. I’m just here representing them. God bless you.

Speaker 9: (47:01)
Pastor [Geggers 00:47:03], we love you. The Governor actually has something at 11, but she will not leave you without giving you an opportunity, so we’re going to have two questions.

Larry Davis: (47:12)
Oh, I’m sorry. Could I say one more thing?

Speaker 9: (47:16)
Could we let the pastor answer them? [crosstalk 00:47:18].

Larry Davis: (47:18)
Leon Williams, same thing. Judge’s office.

Speaker 9: (47:24)
Okay. Am I the one that gets to be the one that makes enemies? Yes, right there.

Speaker 10: (47:31)
Ms. Governor, is there any actual trigger that would have you reinstate previous restrictions?

Gretchen Whitmer: (47:37)
So, as we’ve all done for over a year now, we’ve been looking at the data, and of course, the public health context. Both are important. As you know, if you’ve been watching the legislature, they tried to enact something that would determine based on a couple of simple metrics, whether or not restaurants should be open or closed. If that was a law now, everything would be closed right now. And that speaks to exactly why identifying one number or two numbers doesn’t tell the whole story. Public health experts will tell you, you’ve got to look at the context. And that’s precisely why we do look at positivity rates, we do look at hospitalization rates. We’re talking with Trinity and St. Joe’s, who are incredible partners here for this event, to find out, what are they seeing in terms of their hospitalizations? How old are the people? They’re younger. What are the outcomes? All of these things are factors that go into our response.

Gretchen Whitmer: (48:28)
But here’s where we are. Instead of a year ago, where this was a novel virus, where we didn’t even know that a mask was going to give us 97% protection, we had to take strong actions to keep people safe. We now know a lot more about this. We now have PPE, we now have testing, we now have vaccines. We each have enough information to do our part. And that’s what we’re calling on people to do, to do your part.

Gretchen Whitmer: (48:55)
We know that we are close to the end of this saga, if we all do our part. and that’s why we’re going to continue to call on people to do that, and not go back to those same kind of protocols, because we’re in a different moment.

Chad: (49:10)
Governor, the MiOSHA six month emergency order is expiring Wednesday. Is your administration going to extend that, and extend the effective ban on office work?

Gretchen Whitmer: (49:21)
I am glad you asked that, Chad, because I know that when we do extend them, which we will, people are going to think that that means you can’t go into the office for another six months, and that’s not the case. But by law, we have to give the second extension so that we’ve got some of the tools. We are working with the business community, we are working with labor, we are working with public health experts to promulgate what that back-to-work cadence looks like.

Gretchen Whitmer: (49:46)
But at this juncture, with our high positivity numbers, it’s really important that we extend for another six months, so that we have the ability to work through what these protocols look like, and get people back into the workplace when it’s safe to do so, with the right protocols.

Gretchen Whitmer: (50:01)
So, I’m glad you asked that, because I know just the extension will get everyone nervous. And so, hopefully, they’ll read your article before we do that extension, and not be so nervous.

Speaker 11: (50:11)
Governor, in terms of enforcement, what’s your message to restaurants and businesses who may be violating the current occupancy rules, in some cases allowing 100% percent occupancy indoors?

Gretchen Whitmer: (50:23)
My message to those businesses, my message to those customers, is we all have the knowledge it takes to keep ourselves safe. And if we drop our guard, we’re going to continue to be in a time where our hospital, could keep filling up. And we have high positivity rates. Every one of us needs to do our part. I believe government’s role is, when we can’t take action to protect ourselves, the government must step in. That’s where we were a year ago. That’s where we were four months ago.

Gretchen Whitmer: (50:55)
We’re in a different moment. Every one of us has the ability and knowledge to do what it takes, and it’s on all of us to do it. And that’s why we are imploring people, take this seriously. We don’t want to see our kids getting COVID, bringing COVID home, our success in pushing the numbers down for so long means we’ve got reservoirs of people that don’t have antibodies. You combine that with variants that are very much here and spreading, we are seeing this grow. That is what’s happening. So dropping our guard, moving around, that’s what’s going to contribute to putting ourselves in jeopardy. So don’t do it. And that’s why we’re imploring the public to do their part. [crosstalk 00:51:35]

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