Skubick: State lawmakers eye coronavirus threat in Michigan


State officials are confident they will be ready should the coronavirus hit Michigan.

But the top leader in the Michigan Senate believes the news media is over-playing the story.  

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is staying proactive on the coronavirus threat as she opened the State Emergency Center last week and appointed four new task forces this week to address the economic, educational and health implications of this disease if it hits here.

The Senate Republican leader says the state may have to budget more money if needed but he is more concerned about the media and its “over-blown” coverage of the deaths and the possible panic.

Skubick: “Are you concerned about a public panic?”

Sen. Mike Shirkey: “Yeah, because the guys in the media like to overblow things a bit.”

Skubick: “That’s what is going on?”

Sen. Shirkey: “A little bit. It is a dangerous virus.”

Meanwhile, Democrats are blaming the president for his handling of the issue.

“Those decisions need to be made by the experts,” says Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. “I think politicians spouting off is a problem and the president has been problematic in that regard.”

Of course, parents are very concerned with their kids in school. What happens when and if the virus invades the classroom?

Detroit Senator Adam Hollier, while in college, worked a pandemic flu outbreak and he advises parents their children are not at great risk.

“The coronavirus is very unlikely to happen to young children,” says the senator. “It affects people over the age of 34.”

The senator is more concerned with adults who think they might have the virus. “If people start to panic and go to the hospital and say I think I have got it, then we have challenges because people who have it can’t get treatment.”

There are no confirmed cases so far in Michigan but the state continues to monitor a handful of residents who are self-quarantined after possible exposure to the virus.  

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