World Gretchen Whitmer, Trump's COVID Nemesis, Won't Lockdown as Hospitals Brace for Surge
Gretchen Whitmer Says GOP Leaders Still Haven't Apologized to Her for Misogynistic Attacks
The governor addressed the recent remarks made by Michigan Republican Party chairman Ron Weiser in which he referred to her as a 'witch.'The Quote
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who repeatedly sparred with former Presidentover COVID-19 restrictions, has no intention of mandating a new lockdown despite the state's current sharp increase in COVID-19.
Michigan hospitals are treating 3,549 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Medical workers are bracing for impact as the state experiences its biggest week-to-week spike in hospitalizations since last spring, with the possibility of hitting a new record next Monday. There were also over 8,000 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Michigan on Wednesday, the most of any state.
Michigan’s governor emphasizes voluntary efforts to curb the most severe coronavirus outbreak in the US
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s actions fly in the face of mandatory restrictions she instituted last year.The decision to refrain from instituting mandatory restrictions is a striking development for a Democratic governor who last year garnered national attention for swiftly instituting and standing by social distancing laws even in the face of militant right-wing protests and a kidnapping attempt against her. This time around, even as her state is experiencing a full-blown crisis, she’s taking a softer approach in what may be a political calculation about her reelection prospects next year.
Although Whitmer, a Democrat, was a prominent advocate for imposing strict public health measures during the initial wave of the pandemic and often locked horns with Trump over the issue, Michigan's status as the epicenter of the current U.S. wave has not convinced her that new restrictions are needed this year.
"The problem is fatigue, mobility and variance and we've got all of those things working against us in Michigan right now," Whitmer said during a press conference on Tuesday. "This is not a policy problem, taking steps back isn't going to fix the issue."
On Wednesday, Whitmer indicated that she was monitoring hospitalizations but suggested that the current numbers do not warrant tighter restrictions because they do not yet match what was seen last year. COVID-19 hospitalizations peaked in Michigan at 4,365 in April 2020, with a high of 3,941 hospitalizations seen on December 1 during last year's late surge.
Michigan Emerges as US COVID Epicenter as Gretchen Whitmer Marks 18 Days Without Briefing
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Sunday, Michigan is averaging at least 6,456 daily COVID-19 cases, which is the most of all U.S. states.There were at least 10,293 new COVID-19 cases confirmed from Sunday to Monday, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health, as well as 21 new COVID-19-related deaths.
"You know, we're talking to our hospitals every single day just to check in, see what the rates are, see if they're getting concerned," Whitmer said when asked about the possibility of new restrictions, according to MLive.Com. "At this juncture ... we do have hospitalizations that have gone up but they're nothing like what we saw last spring, when we were so worried about our health system collapsing... They're not even what we saw in the fall."
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services presented a model from Michigan Medicine that predicts a new peak of 4,522 hospitalizations next week during a virtual media call on Wednesday. Hospitalizations in intensive care units are also expected to surge but are unlikely to come close to meeting last year's record.
Whitmer and Trump frequently quarreled over COVID-19 restrictions last year, with public disputes beginning during the first months of the pandemic and continuing until near the end of Trump's presidency. The former president heavily criticized Whitmer for her mask mandate and shutting down businesses in an attempt to control the virus.
'Full capacity everywhere': Manila hospitals struggle as virus surges
Angelo Barrera's father struggled to breathe from Covid-19 as he was driven around the Philippine capital in search of a hospital bed. A week after lockdown was imposed, 70-80 percent of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients were full, while ICU beds were "almost 100 percent" occupied in most of the capital, Health Undersecretary Maria Vergeire said. "It's a dire situation -- it is the worst nightmare of a hospital manager happening in reality," said Jaime Almora, president of the Philippine Hospital Association.
Trump tweeted "LIBERATE MICHIGAN" to followers in May, days before an armed mob stormed the state Capitol. During an October, Trump urged Whitmer to "open up" the state amid the fall surge, while supporters chanted "lock her up."
Newsweek reached out to Whitmer's office for comment.
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