State Watch

Michigan Gov. Whitmer says she has authority to issue second stay-at-home order

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) defended her authority to impose a second stay-at-home order in the state and said calls by Trump health adviser Scott Atlas to “rise up” were “incredibly reckless.”

Whitmer’s new order, which takes effect Wednesday, bars in-person classes for high schoolers and college students. It also shuts down dine-in service for restaurants and other indoor venues such as casinos and movie theaters.

The governor said the new restrictions were a “targeted approach” and based on input from public health experts. Whitmer has called for the GOP-majority state legislature to impose a statewide mask mandate, but leading Republican lawmakers have consistently opposed it.

Atlas sent the tweet in response but later denied it was intended to incite violence.

The tweet was “just incredibly reckless considering everything that has happened, everything that is going on,” Whitmer told reporters at the state capitol Monday, according to The Associated Press. “We really all need to be focused on the public health crisis that is ravaging our country and that poses a very real threat to every one of us.”

Whitmer was the target of an alleged kidnapping plot by a Michigan-based militia group due to her coronavirus restrictions. The alleged conspirators are also accused of planning to abduct Govs. Ralph Northam (D) of Virginia and Mike DeWine (R) of Ohio.

In the least two weeks, the state’s seven-day daily average of new cases has spiked from 3,113 to 6,684. About 3,000 patients are currently hospitalized.

Whitmer, asked if the state can assist small businesses forced to close or drastically curtail service, pleaded with Congress to pass another coronavirus relief package. She defended the new restrictions, saying the state was at risk for at least 20,000 more deaths by February without them.

“The restrictions are absolutely necessary right now. The pandemic is out of control. Nurses are at their breaking point, so any help the public can give us would be great,” Jamie Brown, a critical care nurse from Kalamazoo and president of the Michigan Nurses Association, told the AP.

Tags Gretchen Whitmer Mike DeWine

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