Skubick: Whitmer warns COVID-19 cases could rise quickly


Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer holds a press conference on March 23, 2020, to announce a stay-at-home order aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus. (Courtesy governor’s office)

In making her case for a stay-at-home policy for all residents who are not engaged in essential services, the governor laid out a blueprint on what might happen if the state did not take this action today.  

The virus death count in Italy has soared to over 3,400 surpassing the body count in China.

Without the stay-at-home action she ordered today, the governor warns, Michigan could be just like Italy.

So far 15 persons have died in Michigan with a caseload over 1200 and that number will rise.

In fact, if the state did nothing, the governor predicts the caseload would jump  to over 6000 infected individuals.

“If we do nothing it is projected that the caseload would increase five times what it is now in a week,” explained the governor.

The governor continues to complain that the state does not have enough personal protective gear for front line health care workers and at some point, the 1000 ventilators now online would not be enough to meet the ever-increasing demand.

Meaning some residents would die for lack of a machine to keep them alive.

Earlier models suggested that 40-60% of the population would catch the virus but the governor warns the new number is much higher which could mean the state would have 1 million persons wanting to get into the hospital.

But there are currently only 25,000 acute care beds in the state.

“At the current projections 70% of our residents could catch the disease,” said Gov. Whitmer. “That would mean 7 million afflicted, one million of those would be hospitalized but there are only 25,000 acute care beds.”

The stay-at-home clock starts at midnight tonight and over the next three weeks, the governor and her advisors will monitor the number of cases, hoping against hope that the upward trajectory the state is now on will decline.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Michigan Headlines

More Michigan