LANSING, Mich., January 27, 2021 – Today, Governor Whitmer will give her State of the State Address, but over the last year, Michiganders have lived in a state of disarray, due to Whitmer’s failed COVID-19 response. It’s important to address the scope of these failures and the millions of lives affected by them.
The New York Times reported that as early as February, Governor Whitmer knew about the COVID-19 virus, but not only did she ignore the warnings, she continued campaigning with then-candidate Joe Biden across the State of Michigan through March. Whitmer even waited to disclose COVID cases in Michigan until polls closed the night of the Michigan Democrat Presidential Primary. Throughout the spring and summer, Whitmer wasted valuable time auditioning to be Joe Biden’s running mate.
Weeks later, Governor Whitmer would sign her first shutdown order, which began nearly a year of destruction to Michigan’s economy and the livelihoods of thousands. Despite her initial shutdown and the political grandstanding that came with it, Governor Whitmer forgot to request FEMA Aid, which would have helped accelerate the delivery of vital PPE and other COVID supplies. While she blamed others for her mistakes, Michiganders continued to suffer due to the incompetence of her administration.
Though Governor Whitmer continued to lecture the people of this state on the importance of complying with her executive orders, her husband became the center of attention, when it was revealed that he attempted to name drop his wife in order to skirt her executive orders and launch their boat.
Governor Whitmer could have listened to her critics and made the course correction needed to get our state back on track. Unfortunately, she doubled down on her failures, and those failures would soon turn deadly.
Early on, there were red flags with how Whitmer was approaching protecting our seniors from COVID, with reports suggesting infected seniors were being “hauled around like laundry bags”. It would come out weeks later, that Governor Whitmer ignored the recommendations of nursing home leaders to put infected seniors in vacant facilities, instead opting to put infected seniors into nursing homes with healthy seniors. If this wasn’t enough, nearly half of the facilities Governor Whitmer chose to put infected seniors in, received below-average quality ratings from the federal government. These decisions led to tragic consequences, with mass COVID outbreaks taking over nursing home facilities and a governor who left them unprepared and undersupplied to handle this crisis. Despite the now deadly results of this policy, and critics lamenting the damage she had done, Governor Whitmer inexplicably dug in her heels, vetoing legislation that would undo her failed nursing home policy; which would have prevented further death and destruction from occurring. This decision to veto such an important piece of legislation came over a month after she admitted to mishandling the COVID crisis.
This tragic loss of life affected thousands of Michigan families, yet Governor Whitmer’s failed leadership continued in many other areas. Her insistence on keeping Michigan’s children out of schools, despite experts rejection of the policy, has done immeasurable damage to their development, and has disproportionally affected underprivileged communities.
Michigan’s economy continues to suffer as a result of Governor Whitmer’s failed leadership, which has destroyed the livelihoods of thousands in our state. Michigan restaurants challenged Governor Whitmer’s policies, calling them unconstitutional and warning of the irreparable damage that continued forced closures would have on the industry. These policies destroyed businesses and the jobs they created for the Michigan economy, yet Governor Whitmer took action late last year to veto unemployment benefits for the workers her shutdown policies affected.
While the failures of Governor Whitmer have piled up to extraordinary levels, one of the biggest issues to come from all of this is the complete disregard for transparency throughout this process. This crisis has created numerous scenarios of questionable dealings behind closed doors, such as Governor Whitmer giving a no-bid contract to her Democrat allies early in the COVID crisis. In another revelation, a recent report from an audit of the state’s COVID response has shown that taxpayers were scammed out of thousands of dollars in PPE funds, and that the state actively used shadow organizations to avoid oversight. More recently, Governor Whitmer’s head of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services abruptly resigned, with the Governor dodging questions as to why this occurred.
This past year has been a series of tragic failure in leadership from Governor Whitmer. The people of Michigan have a right to know what happened, and why these bad decisions were made. Tonight, the people of Michigan want answers, but it’s unlikely Governor Whitmer will respect the people and give them the answers they deserve.