DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE: Gov. Whitmer gives update two-weeks into shutdown

Coronavirus

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer held a press conference today to give an update on the COVID-19 outbreak following Thanksgiving.

Whitmer said she spoke with lawmakers in Michigan and emphasized three top-priorities:

  • Passing $100 million in direct-relief to Michigan families and businesses
  • Permanent extension of unemployment benefits, which are in the bottom third of the nation
  • Pass legislation to protect public health such as a mask mandate

Whitmer and the state’s Chief Medical Officer Joneigh Khaldun also discussed the COVID-19 vaccine. They said they are working with sites to be ready for when the vaccine comes.

They also provided a breakdown of how the vaccine could be given out when it does come in, however they said they expect it to come in slowly, especially at first.

They hope to vaccinate the health care workers and those who are most at risk first when the initial doses come in, possibly as early as the next few weeks.

Then the hope is to start getting long-term care facility workers vaccinated by January, then teachers and those who are at high-risk if they do catch the virus.

Lastly, they hope to start vaccinating the general public by late Spring.

Whitmer said the next couple of months will be difficult, especially with the amount of people who traveled for Thanksgiving and the amount they expect to for Christmas and New Years.

“We all know the next few months are going to be hard,” Whitmer said. “Too many people traveled for Thanksgiving and we will see our numbers increase very likely because of it and that will coincide with the next big holiday, Christmas and too many people are considering traveling for that.”

Whitmer received several questions about the possibility of an extension of the “3-week-pause” but didn’t give any firm answers. She did say that she doesn’t take the decision lightly and said that she understands the frustration of restaurant owners and workers.

<<<You can watch the whole press conference below.

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