Michigan mayor calls on commissioner who joined protest against coronavirus restrictions to resign
A Michigan mayor is calling on a city commissioner to resign after the official joined protests of the statewide stay-at-home order put in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
Royal Oak Mayor Michael Fournier told The Detroit News Saturday he asked for City Commissioner Kim Gibbs to resign.
“I have significant concerns about her ability to represent our city,” Fournier told the newspaper. “Moving forward, it shows a complete lack of judgment and empathy for all of those who have succumbed to this disease, their families and especially those on the front line working their tails off to keep us safe and healthy.”
Gibbs was among thousands of protestors who gathered in Lansing to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) stay-at-home order, The Detroit News reported.
Fournier told the newspaper he sent an email to Gibbs the next day asking her to strongly consider resigning.
Gibbs defended herself Saturday and said she did not put herself for anyone at risk, according to The Detroit News.
“Nobody was crossing any barriers. Nobody was violating anybody else’s personal space,” she said. “My ability to serve the community and those who voted for me has nothing to do with me being there.”
In a Facebook post Wednesday, Gibbs said she attended the demonstration to support the “unheard voices of small business owners and those who work for them.”
“We must still be careful and make plans that protect the safety of everyone in Michigan, but I believe there is a way to slowly reopening parts of our economy safely and with surgical precision without resorting to punitive executive orders that takes a sledgehammer to the entire economy of the state of Michigan,” Gibbs wrote.
Michigan is one of several states where protests were held in response to statewide stay-at-home orders.
President Trump defended protesters, and told reporters at a White House briefing on Friday that he feels some state orders are “too tough.” He also tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN,” as well as tweeting the same message directed at Minnesota and Virginia.
Whitmer defended her state’s aggressive stay-at-home order on Sunday and said that the measures are starting to have an effect.
“Michigan right now has the third highest death count in the country, we are the 10th largest state, as you can deduce this means we have a uniquely hard issue going on here,” Whitmer said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It is disproportionately hurting our state and that is why we need to take a uniquely aggressive action to protect people.”
Across Michigan, there are 30,7901 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,308 deaths, according to state data.
In Oakland County, where the city of Royal Oak is located, there are 6,021 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 458 deaths, based on the state data.
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