Guv cites progress, emphasizes caution
In her press conference Monday Governor Whitmer began by recognizing this week as Nurses Week. Teachers Week and Correction Officers Week, thanking each profession for their dedication to keeping the public healthy, educated and safe.
She announced the formation of the COVID-19 Office of Accountability to provide oversight on all spending associated with the pandemic.
“Michiganders have the right to expect that state government will be responsible stewards of their resources, especially in a time of crisis. I will continue to work around the clock to ensure these resources are spent wisely, in compliance with the law, and in a transparent and accountable manner.”
The Department of Technology, Management and Budget will designate a Chief COVID-19 Accountability Officer to lead the Accountability Office.
While citing a downward trend in total numbers of cases the Governor sounded a cautionary note.“We’re not out of the woods yet,” she said, noting an increase in cases in the western and northern parts of the state. She reiterated the need to continue social distancing and wearing masks when necessary.She also quoted the recent press release by former President George W. Bush who called for ‘empathy and simple kindness’ during these troubled times.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson spoke of Tuesday’s election stating that while mail in and absentee ballots were encouraged in person voting would be available in each area
Dr. Khaldun spoke of increased testing noting that 11, 300 tests were given last Friday but once again emphasized “This is not a time to be complacent.”
Dr. Khaldoun also spoke to the discretion given physicians as to what they deem as necessary and urgent procedures emphasizing that any decisions about health care should be made by patients and their physicians.
She also talked about outreach efforts to families who may be having difficulty and encouraged anyone who knows of a child being abused or neglected to report it by calling the Children’s Advocacy Center at 855.444.3911.
The Governor was asked about the easing of restrictions on workplaces and she indicated more information would be coming later in the week but seemed to indicate a 2 week timetable for sectors of the job market returning allowing time to evaluate how each opening affects any rise in cases.
Asked about crowds at Grand Haven and Belle Isle over the weekend she expressed concern and said the state parks would also be addressed later this week.
As for a question about the legislature’s concern over separation of powers and the system of checks and balances the Governor made it clear that while she is happy to work with the legislature she would not negotiate on decisions made in response to the COVID-19 virus.
“This is not a political issue it’s a public health issue.”