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Whitmer: State won't close down again following GOP lawsuits

Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerDetroit police chief planning GOP gubernatorial run against Whitmer More than half of Michigan adults have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose Michigan Senate votes to exempt high school graduations from crowd restrictions MORE (D), indicated Sunday that her state would not implement new coronavirus-related lockdown restrictions in response to a spike in new infections due to Republican-led lawsuits last year that challenged her constitutional authority to do so.

Speaking Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Whitmer explained to host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddSanders knocks James Carville: 'I don't think he's terribly relevant to what happens in Congress right now' Portman: Pre-K, community college not 'typically' a government responsibility Yellen: 'Safest' thing to do is make sure infrastructure plan is paid for MORE that the lawsuits had left her without the ability to unilaterally implement new COVID-19 lockdown measures shutting down businesses in the state, which experts, including Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as White House continues to push vaccination effort Biden confronts limits of big government with COVID-19 Watch live: White House holds briefing with COVID-19 response team MORE, have said is the best response in the face of rising infection numbers.

"I have been sued by my legislature. I have lost in a Republican-controlled Supreme Court," Whitmer told NBC on Sunday. "I don't have all of the exact same tools [that I had 15 months ago]."

"It does sound like you're saying, 'My hands are tied,'" Todd said. 

"Well, at the end of the day, this is going to come down to whether or not everyone does their part. That's the most important thing," the governor responded.

"We're imploring people to take this seriously, mask up, get tested," she continued. "If you've been around someone who's positive, stay home. And if you do get COVID, use one of these monoclonal antibodies so that we can keep you out of the hospital and help you retain your health."

Michigan's Supreme Court ruled in October that Whitmer did not have the constitutional authority to continue extending a state of emergency declared due to the COVID-19 pandemic, under which Whitmer had imposed the state's stay-at-home orders.

State health officials recorded more than 9,800 new cases of COVID-19 in Michigan on Friday, one of the highest single-day totals the state has seen since the beginning of the pandemic.