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Whitmer urges Michigan residents to avoid holiday gatherings with people outside their households

Whitmer urges Michigan residents to avoid holiday gatherings with people outside their households
© Hill.TV

Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerMichigan to end remote work after reaching 55 percent vaccination rate Detroit police chief planning GOP gubernatorial run against Whitmer More than half of Michigan adults have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose MORE (D) on Tuesday called on Michigan residents to avoid hosting in-person gatherings for Thanksgiving as part of her latest effort to curb the spread of the virus in the state. 

"If you are planning to spend Thanksgiving with people outside of your own household, I urge you to reconsider," Whitmer said in a video address released Tuesday. "This year, I'm going to host a Zoom call with my family so we can still talk about the things we are thankful for, in lieu of hosting an in-person dinner like I usually do."

“Think about your last Thanksgiving and the people with whom you spent it. Your parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, your neighbors and friends, or the family you have chosen for yourself,” Whitmer said. "Picture their faces — laughing with you, cheering on the Lions with you, hugging you or even arguing with you about politics. As hard as it will be not to see them in person this Thanksgiving, imagine how much harder it would be if their chairs are empty next year."

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“We must make short-term sacrifices for our long-term health,” the Democratic governor continued. “None of us wants the guilt of gathering and unwittingly spreading this virus to someone we love.”

“As you consider your options for Thursday, I urge you to make the hard choices, because they will ultimately be the right choices,” she added. 

Whitmer’s address comes after she and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced additional COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings on Nov. 15, which took effect on Nov. 18. The measures included limits on classrooms, restaurants and other indoor public spaces where the virus could easily spread. 

Last week, Whitmer joined forces with other Midwestern governors to urge residents to continue following health protocols, such as wearing masks and social distancing, into the winter months as the entire country experiences a rapid surge in infections, with the Midwest getting hit particularly hard. 

As of Tuesday, the U.S. has had a total of more than 12.5 million coronavirus infections, with nearly 260,000 deaths due to the virus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University

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In Michigan, the state health department has recorded a total of 320,506 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 8,688 fatalities. The state had 6,290 new cases and 145 additional deaths on Tuesday alone. 

Whitmer has continuously received criticism from President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE and his allies over her strict mandates restricting activities in the state, with Trump arguing that Whitmer needed to reopen the state’s businesses to boost the economy. 

On Friday, the Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners voted 4-2 on a resolution backing calls for Whitmer’s impeachment, with County Commissioner David Comai blaming what he called Whitmer’s “unconstitutional executive orders” for Kalkaska's economic crisis.