LANSING, MI, April 2, 2020 – With Governor Whitmer set this evening to hold a televised town hall meeting to address Michigan voters, the Michigan Freedom Fund offered a series of important questions Michigan families, workers, and employers hope she will answer.
Important questions Governor Whitmer has the opportunity to answer include:
1) When you issued the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, you cited models predicting seven million Michiganians would contract COVID-19, one million would be hospitalized, and 460,000 would die. The same model now predicts 3,000 deaths.
Press reports indicate your administration is no longer relying on epidemiological modeling before suggesting changes and tactics to combat the virus. You told reporters: "Without real robust testing, it makes models very hard to have evidence to draw evidentiary conclusions.”
Earlier this week, WXYZ reported scientific modeling that indicated the peak of the virus in Michigan was approximately ten days away and would occur on or around April 13. Today while issuing your Executive Order closing school buildings for the rest of the year, you claimed the peak is unlikely to occur for six weeks.
If you are not using epidemiological modeling, and reject the models reported by WXYZ and others, specifically what data are your projections – and the economic and school closures related to them – based?
2) What specific metrics, including the COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, mortality, transmission rate, and any and all other relevant data or numbers do you need to see before lifting the lockdown order? Is there a plan in place or being developed?
3) Earlier today, you intensely criticized state lawmakers for their plan to vote on April 7 purportedly over fears that lawmakers will violate social distancing recommendations. However, you have not called for a suspension or delay in the upcoming May 5 election – a date by which you claimed today the state will not have reached its peak for new infections. This election has the potential to draw hundreds of thousands of Michiganians together in violation of social distancing recommendations. Why express anger towards the few people who are empowered by the Constitution to work directly with you – and provide a check and balance to your executive power – while ignoring the threat of community spread among hundreds of thousands of everyday Michiganians in early May?
4) Finally, what is your response to the concern from Michiganians who see your frequent appearances on national television - particularly unserious “comedy” shows like Trevor Noah - and wonder if that’s not time better spent developing and executing strategies to get us through the next phase of this crisis?