The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested that Michigan should implement stricter COVID-19 measures as hospitalizations from the deadly virus surge in the state.
“I would advocate for sort of stronger mitigation strategies, as you know, to sort of decrease the community activity, ensure mask-wearing, and we’re working closely with the state to try and work towards that,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky reportedly said regarding Michigan in a Wednesday briefing.
Today, restaurants and bars are only allowed to open at 50 percent capacity, and there is still a statewide curfew in place, as well as mask mandates and social distancing orders.
Throughout the pandemic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has implemented some of the strictest COVID-19 lockdown measures in the entire country, and was the only governor to ban private gatherings. That ban was eventually deemed unconstitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court, and Whitmer was stripped of her emergency powers.
She kept running the show behind the scenes, though, via the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). She even vetoed a bill that would have curbed that agency’s ability to make mandates.
Still, while other states like Florida and Texas are completely open for business and have dropped their COVID-19 restrictions – and have seen cases and hospitalizations plummet – Michigan remains strained.
In response to the CDC’s assessment, Whitmer told CNN that the state “might have to do more” in the way of curbing youth sports.
But that is a hotly contested subject in Michigan.
Whitmer faced protests in February, organized by student-athletes and a nonprofits that supported them. After Let Them Play, Inc., a nonprofit, along with the Michigan Amateur Youth Hockey League filed a lawsuit against Whitmer’s administration in the same month, she folded and allowed winter sports to resume.
“The fact of the matter is, if anyone watched how I conducted myself and the way that we have navigated COVID, it’s that we have been absolutely committed to following the science,” she said at the time.
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