LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– At the governor’s press conference on Wednesday, some leaders in the sports world came to help spread a message in hopes that could help pave the way for schools to reopen in person.
Most public K-12 schools are set to open on September 8th, in just 55 days. Some universities and schools open sooner.
Michigan State University men’s basketball head coach, Tom Izzo, MSU head women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant and the University of Michigan women’s basketball head coach Kim Barnes Arico, all came to the press conference with the governor. Each coach explained why they came and encouraged others to wear a mask.
“As leaders we have to bring people with us. We just can’t expect that they’re gonna see what we are doing. We’ve got to bring them with us so that being said I decided to step out like both Kim and Susie did and ah try to be difference makers,” said Izzo. “It’s not for just Spartans, it’s not just for Wolverines, it’s for everybody to come together and that doesn’t happen very often, we’re all on the same page, we’re rivals, but in this case, I love everybody in this state,” he added.
“We’re not Democrats, or Republicans, and today we’re not even a Spartan or Wolverine, we are Michigan people and we’re here to support our state and we’re asking each and every one of you to please wear a mask,” said Merchant.
“Regardless if we live in Ann Arbor, East Lansing, or Northern Michigan, we are in this fight together,” said Barnes Arico.
These coaches and the governor made it clear that they want schools to reopen in person in the fall, but that it also needs to be safe enough to reopen. If Covid-19 cases continue to rise, that might not be an option though.
“If that trajectory continues, and we have to move some regions back to phase 3, that means there will not be in person instruction and the school board plans about how they’re going to deliver remote education are going to be utilized,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The governor and Dr. Joneigh Khaldun both addressed the controversy surrounding masks and say it’s not about taking a side.
“This is not a joke, it is not a hoax, this is not about politics, just wear your mask because you want to live, and you want to protect those around you,” said Dr. Khaldun.