Michigan’s Mike Shirkey: COVID part of push toward 'one world governance'
- Mike Shirkey, who led the Republican opposition to pandemic policies, cited several unproven claims about COVID-19
- He’s leaving the Legislature after a lengthy tenure marked by controversial statements
- Many left speechless by his claim without evidence that COVID-19 was a designed attack
LANSING — Outgoing Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, who led the Republican fight against pandemic orders, ended his tenure by alleging that COVID-19 was "planned" and a potential precursor to greater threats ahead.
The term-limited Republican acknowledged his comments may be dismissed as "conspiracy" but used his farewell speech Wednesday to rail on government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including temporary lockdowns and school closures ordered by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
The "surprise attack of an insidious virus" was "one that we were not prepared for, but one that was most certainly planned," Shirkey claimed, embracing the unproven theory that COVID was a designed attack by China.
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In doing so, Shirkey appeared to be repeating debunked “plandemic” theories that sinister forces are behind the outbreak of the virus that has killed 6.6 million worldwide, including more than 40,000 in Michigan.
In 2020, as many as 1-in-4 Americans found some truth in the theory, while Republicans were twice as likely to believe in the “plandemic,” according to Pew Research.
Shirkey has made controversial statements throughout his 12-year tenure, but left many speechless Wednesday.
In a lengthy speech, the businessman suggested a series of "little-g gods" like climate change, gun control, digital currency, child sacrifice and "trans-whatever" are part of a broader push to "achieve a one-world governance" and "one-world religion."
Shirkey was a frequent critic of Whitmer's response to the pandemic and helped raise funds for a successful initiative to overturn a 1945 law the governor had used to issue orders early in the pandemic.
The Clarklake lawmaker has long argued that public health officials should recognize that people previously infected with COVID-19 — including himself — have "natural immunity” against the virus.
Shirkey previously claimed that immunity would last "forever," which is false.
Shirkey could not run for re-election this year due to the state’s term limits law. Whitmer won re-election and helped Democrats flip the state House and Senate, giving them their first full majority in Lansing in four decades.
Senate Democrats appeared dumbfounded by Shirkey's comments.
Sen. Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak, tweeted a one-word reaction: "Um."
“Well that was weird,” added Sen. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield.
In his farewell speech, Shirkey took aim at the World Economic Forum, arguing the non-governmental lobbying organization is behind a push for “the elimination of sovereignty.”
In doing so, he appeared to embrace a growing conspiracy theory about the World Economic Forum, which in 2020 proposed a "great reset" pandemic recovery plan that prioritized sustainable development.
"It's becoming glaringly apparent COVID was just the beginning of the forces that will test the very fabric of our freedoms, independence, our sovereignty, our values, and even our God-given rights," he said.
Adherents of the "Great Reset" conspiracy theory, "warn that 'global elites' will use the pandemic to advance their interests and push forward a globalist plot to destroy American sovereignty and prosperity," according to the Anti-Defamation League.
The theory can be dangerous, "undermining faith in democratic institutions" and leading to "further threats of violence against government officials," according to the ADL.
Whitmer was diplomatic in a statement earlier Wednesday thanking Shirkey and outgoing House Speaker Jason Wenworth, R-Farwell, for their "service to Michigan" and "willingness to work across the aisle to get things done on the kitchen-table issues."
Editor's note: This story and headline were changed at 4:14 p.m. Dec. 8 to reflect that Shirkey referred to "one world governance," rather than "one world government."
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