WATCH – Gov. Whitmer tells Congressional committee how Michigan is impacted by COVID-19

Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer provides an update on coronavirus in Michigan during a May 26, 2020, press briefing. (Courtesy Michigan Executive Office of the Governor)

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is testifying today to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

She is scheduled to give her testimony remotely at 11:30 a.m. today and will be joined by the governors of Arkansas and Colorado.

Whitmer will tell the members of the committee what steps were taken in Michigan to fight the spread of COVID-19 since she declared a state of emergency on March 10.

“To that end, and in keeping with the recommendations of public health experts, I have issued orders restricting access to places of public accommodation and school buildings, limited gatherings and travel, and requiring workers, who are not necessary to sustain or protect life, to remain at home,” said the governor, according to an advance copy of her prepared statement.

Whitmer talks about what developed as “the lead agency for pandemic response shifted from HHS to FEMA and the White House Coronavirus Task Force was stood up, confusion spread. The state was directed to request needed supplies from FEMA, then told that we would receive population-based allocations from the SNS, unreflective of our need. President Trump told governors that states should seek out their own supplies on the private market, and yet suppliers were claiming they were being directed to sell to the federal government rather than states.’

In her prepared statement, the governor goes on to explain how testing was ramped up and she recognizes the “work and attention FEMA Region V has given to Michigan during this crisis and
Administrator James Joseph and his team have been great partners, yet the overall federal
response on this front has been uneven.”

She details the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the state’s economy and budget. Whitmer also explained the strategy behind the MI Safe Start Plan, geared to a gradual reopening of the state.

Whitmer told members of the committee that by a scaled reopening a second wave of COVID-19 might be avoided.

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