Whitmer on Covid surge: Michigan has compliance problem, not policy problem

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CLINTON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) — Despite the high Covid-19 case numbers and positivity rate, the state doesn’t have nay plans to increase restrictions.

That’s according to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who says the trajectory of the state is problematic, but it’s not because of the rules — it’s because not enough people are following them.

“The national experts that we’ve regularly talked to say you don’t have a policy problem, you have a compliance problem,” Whitmer said.

Early on she drew criticism from pundits about keeping the state shut down longer than most. Now, she’s receiving backlash for leaving things open. She says the main difference between then and now is the state of the vaccine roll out.

“We’re a year into this…we have three vaccines that are available,” Whitmer said.

Meanwhile, cases are surging, school’s are pushing back plans to offer in-person learning after spring break and hospitalizations are up 300 percent.

“At this juncture we do have hospitalizations that have gone up but they’re nothing like what we saw last spring when we were worried about our whole system collapsing,” Whitmer said. “They’re not even what we saw in the fall. Access to vaccines has really improved our ability to combat Covid.”

Shots in arms continues to be Whitmer’s message as far as how to end the pandemic. Nearly five million doses of vaccine have been administered state wide, but there’s still plenty more to do.

“Obviously (if) we get to 70% of our eligible population vaccinated, we are in an incredibly strong position and we will see our hospitalizations go down,” Whitmer said.

But until then, she says everybody needs to continue to comply with state orders, no matter how much Covid fatigue has set in.

“Every one of us can do our part and if we all do, we’re going to be in a much stronger position,” Whitmer said. “Doing your part looks like wearing your mask, it looks like being smart about social distancing and hand-washing and it looks like getting your vaccine when you can.”

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