Midwestern governors joined forces in a video released Tuesday calling on Americans in the region to continue following health and safety protocols during the holidays as coronavirus cases spike in their states and across the country.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerMichigan orders 'all-hands-on-deck' response to water crisis Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Altria — Michigan leaves majority-Black city with lead-contaminated taps for three years Whitmer vetoes bill on bird feeding over deer fears MORE (D), along with fellow Democratic Govs. Andy Beshear (Ky.), Tony EversTony EversTrump pushing ex-Rep. Duffy to run for Wisconsin governor Nonprofit founder launches bid to replace Rep. Kind in Wisconsin Wisconsin governor apologizes for indigenous boarding schools MORE (Wis.), J.B. Pritzker (Ill.) and Tim WalzTim WalzMinnesota to offer 0 gift cards, scholarships as vaccine incentives to kids Three suspects arrested in fatal St. Paul bar shooting The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Democrats to scale back agenda MORE (Minn.), as well as Republican Govs. Mike DeWineMike DeWineMinnesota to offer 0 gift cards, scholarships as vaccine incentives to kids Republican candidates tack toward right on abortion Anti-Trump Republicans on the line in 2022 too MORE (Ohio) and Eric Holcomb (Ind.), emphasized the importance of continuing to wear masks, social distance and prevent large gatherings to curb the spread of infections during the winter months and upcoming holidays.
“As we head into the holiday season and the cold winter months, we wanted to take a moment to talk to families in our region about how you can protect your loved ones and our front-line workers, as well as our small business owners, from COVID-19 and the pandemic,” Whitmer began in the video shared on Twitter.
I joined @GovAndyBeshear, @GovMikeDeWine, @GovEvers, @GovHolcomb, @GovPritzker, and @GovTimWalz to talk about protecting our families and frontliners from COVID-19 during the holidays. Mask up, we’re going to get through this together. pic.twitter.com/G1sZQGBOYp— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) November 17, 2020
“Right now, cases and hospitalizations are skyrocketing in the Midwest and really, all across the country,” Beshear adds. “And as the weather gets colder and more people head inside, it will get worse.”
Evers said that there is medical progress in the form of a vaccine after Pfizer announced last week that its candidate showed to be more than 90 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 in preliminary data.
Moderna has since announced this week that its candidate has a 94.5 percent efficacy rate, according to interim data.
“This is great news, but it doesn’t mean that we can let our guard down and loosen the safety measures we have made in our daily lives,” Pritzker said.
DeWine follows, saying, “It’s more important now than ever that we double down on mask wearing and physical distancing to help more people get through the winter and protect the brave men and women serving on the front lines of this crisis.”
Holcomb tells viewers that “it’s crucial that we keep our infection rate low so we can distribute the vaccine as quickly as possible when it’s ready.”
“We must remember that when the vaccine is ready, it will take time to distribute, and we need everyone to continue doing their part to protect each other from COVID-19,” Walz added.
With Thanksgiving coming up, public health experts and state leaders across the country have urged Americans to alter their traditional holiday plans.
Beshear argued that “getting together with your family via Zoom to ensure your loved ones stay safe is the right thing to do.”
“When it comes to fighting this virus, we are all on the same team,” Whitmer says, with each governor then telling their residents to “mask up.”
As of Tuesday, the United States has recorded a total of about 11.2 million confirmed coronavirus infections, with more than 247,000 deaths as a result of the virus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Midwestern states have been hit especially hard in recent months, prompting governors to reimpose restrictions on gatherings and other activities.
Last week, DeWine reissued a statewide mask mandate and said in an address to residents that Ohio hospitals could be overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases in “just a few short weeks.”
Whitmer, despite continued criticism and calls to reopen from President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE and his allies, issued a new order to take effect Wednesday that bars and in-person classes for high school and college students, as well as shuts down dine-in service for restaurants and other indoor venues.