When will Gov. Whitmer reopen Michigan? It’s complicated. And a bit vague.

Michigan is one of only a handful of states and territories that has not laid out specific plans on reopening parts of the economy. (Shutterstock image)

June 1 update: Whitmer lifts stay-at-home order, will allow bars and restaurants to open
Update: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to reopen northern Michigan by Memorial Day weekend

Just over the Michigan border in Ohio and Wisconsin, shoppers again are going to stores after coronavirus stay-home orders ended. In Georgia, residents are not only eating out, but hitting the gym and swimming in public pools.

Not so in Michigan, which is joined by just three other states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico in maintaining most major coronavirus-related restrictions and having no clear plans for statewide reopening, according to a nationwide review of state policies by the New York Times.

The shutdown has led some 1.7 million Michigan workers to file for unemployment since March and prompted fears that many temporary business closures will become permanent. 

Michigan was harder hit than most states that are beginning to reopen. But encouraging signs abound, from a steady drop in new cases and hospitalizations to testing increases and the launch of a contact tracing program to monitor movements of those with the coronavirus.

But unlike counterparts in states including California, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Illinois, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has resisted using metrics like case counts or available hospital beds to guide her decision on when businesses can reopen.

“There’s no textbook specific number that will tell you it’s safe to reengage a particular sector of the economy,” Whitmer said at a press conference on Wednesday.

“It depends on human nature, it depends on human activity."

Epidemiologists agree with the approach, saying flexibility is necessary for an illness as new and unknown as the coronavirus. But Whitmer’s wariness frustrates some business leaders, Republicans and citizens who say they’re being asked to comply with stringent guidelines with no clear goal in mind.

“The lack of clarity, the ambiguity that is inherent to the administration's approach to this has been a challenge from day one, and is becoming more and more of a problem,” said Rich Studley, president of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, who added that hundreds of businesses are “in serious financial trouble” because of the stay-at-home order.

“We’re at the point where Michiganders need clarity. Michiganders expect more.

Where Michigan stands in reopening guidelines

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Trump administration list three basic criteria for states or regions to reopen economies in its “Opening Up America Again” guidelines. Here’s where Michigan stands.

Guideline: Decline in 14 days in number of people with flu-like symptoms and 14-day decline in number of people with COVID-19 symptoms.

Michigan: The state does not disclose flu-like symptom data but does publish the percentage of visits to emergency rooms and urgent care facilities in which people complain of coronavirus symptoms. That’s been in decline since late March when it nearly hit 6 percent (it’s just below 1 percent now). Overall the rate has fallen in the last 14 days but it rose slightly (from 0.88 percent to 1.14 percent) on May 10. 

Guideline: A 14-day downward trend in infections or 14-day downward trend in percentage of people who test positive for COVID-19.

Michigan: Daily new cases fell to 425 on Saturday from 851 on May 2, but new cases haven’t declined every single day.

Guideline: Hospitals have capacity to treat everyone, and the state has a “robust program” to treat all health, police and fire-rescue workers for the virus.

Michigan: Overall, 1,256 people are hospitalized with the coronavirus, down from 3,600 in mid-April, and 35 percent of the state’s 20,300 hospital beds are empty. Nearly a third, 32 percent, of the state’s 2,900 intensive-care beds are empty. 

Guideline: Robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing. 

Michigan: The state has seen a big increase in testing, topping 14,000 tests a day last week, up from fewer than 5,000 a day for most of April. But it’s unclear what robust means and whether Michigan meets that guideline.

Source: CDC, Michigan health records

The debate in Michigan mirrors one nationwide, as dozens of governors have begun easing restrictions on businesses and social activities. Health advocates contend restrictions are being lifted too soon in some states like Florida. This week, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned of “really serious” consequences from reopening too soon.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided general guidelines for reopening, which include two-week drops in cases and symptoms and increased testing. 

Michigan arguably has met the benchmarks, but critics say the CDC’s guidelines are overly vague.

Epidemiologists told Bridge it’s hard to pinpoint exact goals for metrics like testing, hospitalizations and tracing that merit certain levels of reopening. Instead, they say officials must rely on a cautious trial-and-error approach that involves on-the-ground observations and rapid response to flare-ups.

“This is a scenario with a lot of uncertainty and the answers are not as readily available as we would hope,” said Dr. Emily Martin, an epidemiology professor at the University of Michigan who Whitmer has consulted during the pandemic. 

“It’s such a remarkably unusual virus in a lot of ways that it’s sort of thrown a lot of our old tools out of the window. I understand, I also feel frustrated all the time.”

Encouraging signs in coronavirus fight

The restrictions placed on businesses to slow the spread of the coronavirus have blown a $6 billion hole in the state budget and caused more job losses than the Great Recession.

But Whitmer and epidemiologists say the restrictions are working to curb the virus that has killed nearly 5,000 in Michigan.

By most measures, coronavirus improving in Michigan

Although Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has laid out vague guidelines for when she'll consider it safe to loosen restrictions, the state is seeing multiple positive signs, with cases and deaths falling, hospital capacity and testing capacity increasing.

 
 

New cases have largely been declining since early April, from an average of 1,500 new cases per day to around 450. The rate of increase in new cases fell 25 percent in the last week, the state’s chief medical executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said Monday.

Testing has increased from an average of 38 per day in mid-March to 14,255 in the last week data are available. The rate of positive tests has decreased this month and is consistently below the 10 percent benchmark outlined by the World Health Organization to indicate enough tests are being performed. 

Whitmer said Monday that the state is close to reaching its goal of testing 15,000 people daily for the virus, while hospitalizations are falling and the pace of cases in west Michigan is slowing after rising in April.

So if it’s working, is it time to reopen? And if not, how will we know when it’s safe?

Whitmer has provided only a broad outline.

This month, she released a six-phase economic reopening plan that generally requires “new cases and deaths [to fall] for a period of time” and “most new outbreaks [be] quickly identified, traced, and contained” before in-person retail shopping can resume and offices can reopen.

Speaking on Wednesday, Whitmer said there are many “variables in this equation,” including whether businesses and individuals are following “appropriate protocols” such as social distancing and heightened sanitation and whether certain industries have access to personal protection equipment.

Republicans and other business leaders have called on Whitmer to follow the lead of other states and allow regions without heavy caseloads to reopen. 

In New York, regions can reopen if they meet metrics including a 14-day decline in net hospitalizations or a threshold of 30 percent free hospital beds. In Illinois, regions must have 14 percent of intensive care units, medical and surgical beds and ventilators available; in Pennsylvania, the governor has outlined a goal of having fewer than 50 new confirmed cases per 100,000 people reported in the last 14 days.

Whitmer’s office did not respond this week to an inquiry from Bridge Magazine about whether she considers such metrics unreliable.

Frustrations over lack of clarity

Whitmer’s resistance to similar standards has fueled some of the anger on display recently among Republican legislators, on social media and during recent Capitol protests. 

The lack of standards and transparency has angered GOP leaders and others who say they recognize the public health threat but want it balanced against other metrics like the economy.

“Number one, the governor owes the people a clear explanation for the extended executive order,” said Patrick Anderson, a consultant whose firm, Anderson Economic Group, provides economic analysis for companies and governments.

Anderson’s analysis of the coronavirus has been used in lawsuits filed against Whitmer by U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Dryden Township, and a group of business executives that challenge the constitutionality of her stay-at-home order. 

Anderson acknowledged the need for Whitmer’s first stay-home order in March, saying that then “we had a real emergency.”

But since mid-April, case counts have fallen, and Anderson contended the models the governor has cited to justify the extension of her emergency order are vague and flawed.

One of the models, from University of Michigan researchers, showed the potential of 3,800 daily cases in May. That prediction, however, projected a large second wave if social distancing rules began scaling back on May 1 and ended in mid-May.

Those rules were not relaxed and the daily case count has not been higher than 1,200. The number of new cases has steadily fallen, averaging fewer than 500 a day.

For the Whitmer administration, those numbers — and the steady trend downward — are proof of success. Anderson sees it as proof the models were wrong and the extension unjustified. 

Anderson and others said they want Whitmer to provide a blueprint for change and a justification for the existing rules.

Which numbers have to go down? By how much? What’s the necessary percentage of available hospital beds to reopen? Can this be done by region, as Whitmer has suggested?

“Right or wrong, the decisions made by the governor are impacting millions of people, their livelihoods, and their ability to care for loved ones,” Gideon D’Assandro, a spokesperson for House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, wrote in an email to Bridge. 

“But very few people feel like their voice is being heard at the table. Everyone in Michigan would like to see more information about how these decisions are being made and gain a little peace of mind about everything that is happening to our society.”

Sandy Baruah, president of the Detroit Regional Chamber, said the pandemic and shutdown have been an economic disaster for Detroit-area businesses, and the lack of clear timeline for reopening can be frustrating. 

But he said he appreciates that Whitmer is “focused on data, not on dates.”

If there were to be a resurgence in the virus, it would be an even bigger economic catastrophe, Baruah said, which is why “we are not beating our chests to say there’s one right answer to this.” 

“We understand that this is a very complicated issue and some people are trying to make it an uncomplicated issue. And unfortunately, some things in life are just darn complicated.”

No ‘magic number’ for when to reopen

Epidemiologists and economists who spoke with Bridge said it’s harder to pinpoint reliable metrics for reopening than one might think. 

Stringent social distancing measures are “the main reason” Michigan case numbers have declined, said Dr. Joseph Eisenberg, an infectious disease expert and chair of the Epidemiology Department in the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.

But the state still needs to ramp up testing capacity to safely reopen more workplaces, he said, because public health officials need to be able to identify and quickly tamp down any spikes in cases. 

That’s been delayed in Michigan — and in most states, though they have proceeded to reopen anyway — because of a lack of testing supplies due to disruptions in the supply chain. 

“There is no magic number” for how many tests are needed to safely begin reopening, Eisenberg said. “There needs to be enough tests so that even those that are mildly symptomatic can be tested.”

A fellow epidemiologist, Martin of the University of Michigan, said the Rockefeller Foundation estimated Michigan should be conducting around 30,000 tests statewide daily to safely reopen more businesses. 

That’s about twice as much as the state is doing now and the goal state officials hope to reach by mid-June. 

Even states that have outlined metrics or set dates for reopening are doing so “with imperfect information,” said Dr. Eric Kessell, an epidemiologist at Wayne State University. He said states should work with trial and error by shoring up resources and paying attention to how the virus responds to new practices. 

“Without having that clear information, taking a cautious and slow approach is reasonable,” Kessell said. 

That may be slower than many who are losing jobs and businesses are comfortable with:  Because of the time it takes for symptoms to show from new COVID-19 cases, it takes two full weeks to know the consequences of a single change in policy. 

That said, the epidemiologists said a regional reopening — the preferred method of GOP leaders in the statehouse, which is being used in New York — can be safely done if it’s monitored closely over a long period and there’s enough resources to properly test and trace any cases that emerge.

But the epidemiologists raised concerns that reopening one region, like northern Michigan, could encourage travel and a spike in cases.

In the end, the decision on when to reopen will be informed by public health metrics but will not be defined by them, said Kessell. 

“Ultimately it will be answered as a policy or political decision that hopefully uses the best of the imperfect information that we have. It’s going to be an iterative process.”

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Comments

Anonymous
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 7:58am

"It’s complicated. And a bit vague."
This is only true because the citizens of Michigan have not been given any concrete metrics to measure progress. Everything statement is nebulous with no way to measure, blatantly oversimplified or without context. Saying cases are staying flat is bogus because the numbers of tests performed is going up. If testing goes up and positives stay the same then that is a good thing. 50 positive out of 100 tests is 50%, 50 positive out of 1000 tests is 5%. Same number of positive but vastly different in context.

We will see how Wisconsin progresses and if it gets better there what excuse will our Governor have then? Probably more of the same statements made up to this point and there is a part of the population who just wants to be told what to do so they will lap it up.

Anonymous
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 3:38pm

I don't mind waiting to see how many foolish people die in Wisconsin. Why should WE be the guinea pigs?

Rose Tanner
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 9:15am

I agree, I would rather stay in lockdown confined to quarters at home than having me or my loved ones sick or dying in a hospital...just saying...

Therese
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:32am

That's your choice, but healthy people shouldn't be forced to remain under lockdown. 66% of NY coronavirus cases say they got COVID-19 following lockdown rules.

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:05am

Citation?

James
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:15am

Then you and your loved ones should stay home if it's that big of a concern.

Rhonda
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:07am

According to your alias "Therese", it's safer for at risk people not to stay home. Make up your mind.
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:32am

Todd
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 9:15am

I'm sure you will be very upset if they don't die.

Anonymous
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:02am

We KNOW there will be spikes in Wisconsin because they are being reckless. There will be more unnecessary deaths there. Most of us in Michigan would prefer taking more measured approaches.

Anonymous
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:16am

Wait and see is a great approach. Some of these states are reopening even before other countries hit way before us have reopened. Stupid is as stupid does.

Mark
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:37am

Todd, I only wish you lived there instead of here.

Todd
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 5:03pm

Such a tolerable lefty. I'm not surprised. This type of stuff is what helped Trump win and will help him win again. Thanks buddy! Oh and I don't live here for six months out of the year. Need to know which months? TDS is real.

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:13am

The half-wit lives here only half a year. He complains here and votes here, but lives elsewhere. Wow

James Krozek
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 8:24am

I'm wondering if Whitmer is even capable of making a decision. Looks like the type of manager who keeps asking for more information in order to avoid deciding. Probably would love to have the courts rule against her so she doesn't need to make a call.

Anonymous
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 3:35pm

She's made decisions, Jimmy. You just don't like them.

Good Lackey
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 9:38am

Just hide inside and wait to be told what to do next. The Queen LOVES peasants like you who do what they're told without question.

Reasonable
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 2:45pm

The Free Press reports that the governor has been working with the industry to develop reasonable guidelines to that they can operate savely for their employees and the public. That sounds reasonable with me, rather than getting feedback from the whining peanut gallery in the Bridge comment section.

"Previously, the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA) publicly urged Whitmer to allow restaurants to reopen for on-premise dining on May 29, the day after the governor's current stay-at-home order expires.

The MRLA also issued a 26-page guidebook for restaurants planning to reopen. The document includes prescriptive measures such as employee temperature screenings, mandatory glove and facemask policies for employees, rearranged dining rooms that allow for six-foot social distancing measures and a template health questionnaire to be administered to diners at the operator's discretion.

Many of the MRLA's prescriptions are also mandatory under the governor's new order, which include establishing a COVID-19 response plan and training staff on proper PPE usage."

America
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:21am

Dear Lackey,
Peasants like me voted for Governor Whitmer and her leadership reflects my values. That's how government is supposed to work in America. I'm sure Trump reflects your values whatever those are. The problem is that Trump has no values. He is a poor leader, a puppet of Putin and Moscow Mitch. Russia is the only other country that might end up with more people dead from COVID19 than the US. So following Putin's lead isn't a good model for the US. Given your comment, you might prefer living in Somalia.

Rose
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:20am

Absolutely. Just like people who don't like the fact that this virus is very contagious and very deadly (it is not the flu) so they choose not to believe that fact.

Mary Sue
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 5:20pm

It's more contagious and more deadly than the flu, that is indeed readily true. But it may not be more deadly or contagious than many of the other viruses that have hit our nation over the past 200 years. And we didn't take the radical steps that we took recently that destroyed our economy, violated our civil liberties and privacy rights, and may end up killing double what the virus will kill at it's worst. We now know data, science, and the reality of the situation, and no matter how much you throw around scary words and yell 'doom', we know now that the facts don't support the actions undertaken by the Governor in the recent months.

Rose
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 7:45pm

Respectfully, you are mistaken. We did shut down the county in parts in 1918 . Every single study showed that not only were people protected, but the economies in areas that shut down bounced back stronger and faster than where there was no shut down. Just like today, however, this was done in a patchwork way as there was no federal coordination of the shutdown policies. Just like today, for political reasons (the war) the federal govt deliberately ignored the pandemic and abdicated its to keep the population safe. Read the John Barry book about 1918.It is an eye openers. . Just one article re the economy --many are easily found via google:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/pedrodacosta/2020/04/03/pandemic-economics-...

Rose
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 7:52pm

Respectfully, you are mistaken. We did shut down the county in parts in 1918 . Every single study showed that not only were people protected, but the economies in areas that shut down bounced back stronger and faster than where there was no shut down. Just like today, however, this was done in a patchwork way as there was no federal coordination of the shutdown policies. Just like today, for political reasons (the war) the federal govt deliberately ignored the pandemic and abdicated its to keep the population safe. Read the John Barry book about 1918.It is an eye openers. . Just one article re the economy --many are easily found via google:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/pedrodacosta/2020/04/03/pandemic-economics-...

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:26am

Are you on a ventilator now? I think you need more oxygen. In just a few months, at least 92,063 people have died from COVID19 in our country with a lock down. Trump says he saved 2 million. Was Trump wrong?

Wondering
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:49am

Mary Sue, in your opinion is the earth is flat?

Matt
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 8:48am

Clear concise standards and information then ignoring them, leads to an angry public (remember flatten the curve?), uncomfortable questions such as, why so little attention to elderly care homes where most deaths occur and can lead to relinquishment of power. No leftist such as Whitmer and Nessel will willingly agree to give up their power. Stay tuned for requiring the invention of a proven effective vaccine, the arrival and passing of the "second wave" and the Earth's temperature to cool by 2 degrees, before people, those who want it, are given the Dear Leaders' permission for some autonomy.

Mike
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 9:57am

Bingo. "Liberty" or "freedom" have no part of her vocabulary. Everything seems to be about her proving her point. Oh, and the craziness.... Remember her attempt at creating a 75 million dollar commission to control the water levels in lake Michigan? Why not just control the temperature of the sun while we're at it? Her response is about her agendas, not the people.

Janine Wozniak
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 8:02am

While you want your life to go back to normal, she wants to save lives.

Arjay
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 9:38am

And if she wants to save lives, she doesn’t have a clue as to how to go about it. Michigan’s numbers of deaths are like New York’s, far above what the population would dictate. The number of dead from elderly facilities has been reported at 43% in Michigan. No, we do not expect life to go back to “normal”, but you can put measures in place like number of people allowed in a building at any time, required distance between people, direction of travel in a grocery aisle, protective shields erected, frequency of cleaning of hard surfaces, all things that actually save lives. But thanks to thoughtless Whitmer, many died needlessly, and many are out of work or have lost their business needlessly.

Matt
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 3:05pm

Your 43% is hard to believe and would be far on the low side of what other states have experienced, especially with our magnatude. Given the Michigan median age of 77 for deaths makes this especially doubtful. On the other hand clearly concentrating 100% on old folks homes and other vulnerable pops rather than the entire state would could have given huge results without the costs but what's money? But this would require more thinking than the Dear Leader(s) is capable of.

Trump
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:30am

People are saying no one died, covid 19 is a democratic hoax.

Concerned
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:21am

When the data shows 86% of your citizens dying are over age 60, most being over age 80 - 42%, goal needs to be protect the seniors not lockdown the health. Mixing COVID patients with healthy ones in nursing homes, not an example of a good executive order. Not policing or inspecting senior living centers for almost two months, while dictating the lives of the citizens and business. Prison inmates were also neglect until May, even as correction officers were infected and some died. As the number of inmates infected rolled in, two prison alone had over 1500. When new media picked up that Michigan was #1 in the country for number of deaths in prison, suddenly Queen Gretch finally called in the national guard to assist in testing. As she sets the strickist guidelines for businesses to open, ignored the essential employees working in unsafe conditions. Many citizens were being infected at meat packing plants and migrants working on farms were being infected. Industries under the supervision and control of the state ignored and private citizens and businesses in lockdown, over controlled. This makes sense to who? Protect those who need states help and leave responsible citizens and business owners alone.

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:31am

They lived their lives, right?

Matt
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 2:16pm

Janine, Tell me why are these mutually exclusive? Why not quarantine the old folks and let those who don't feel threatened go back to their lives? Curious of your thinking.

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:35am

Matt, sounds like concentration camps for "old folks" to protect them. I bet my "old" uncle who voted for Trump would object, but have at it. He always ruins Thanksgiving and Christmas anyway by telling us how great Trump is.

Terry
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 8:17pm

Anonymous Concentration camp for "old folks"? Whitless has made a concentration camp of the entire state! With strict rules and bannings of most normal activities except liquor and marijuana stores. And of course buying lotto tickets is essential. Elective diagnostic medical and surgical procedures such as MRIs, colonoscpies, mammograms etc are also deemed by her unnecessary and banned except abortions of course. Can't infringe on the right to kill your baby! So yeah, tell me all about concentration camps. Sounds like your uncle is an intelligent decent guy. Would love to have him over for Christmas and Thanksgiving. I imagine like their isn't much joy or happiness at your gatherings. Just lots of orange man bad wailing.

Slogan
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:37am

"Old Folks: Lock Em Up! TRUMP 2020"

Katherine Miller
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:27am

"Bingo. 'Liberty' or 'freedom' have no part of her vocabulary."

Mike, "...LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". I'm glad the governor cares about protecting our lives. This pandemic has been a huge wake up call for me. I can no longer vote for republicans.

Bobby S
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:18am

Heil Whitmer.

Kevin Grand
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 9:37am

"“There’s no textbook specific number that will tell you it’s safe to reengage a particular sector of the economy,” Whitmer said at a press conference on Wednesday."

Let's just call this what it actually is, the governor is moving the goalposts, yet again.

There is one glaring fact in this article Ms. Beggin and Mr. Wilkinson failed to include; it presumes that Michigan Businesses will actually wait for the governor to give them permission.

With a little bit of detective work (and some good old fashioned word of mouth), it's not hard to find businesses who have already resumed operation (albeit on a very limited scale) without first asking "Mother, may I?".

You already have at least six county sheriffs who have explicitly stated they WILL NOT actively enforce the governor's illegal "orders". Add to that the numbers we'll be seeing from Ohio in the coming days, businesses will be less inclined to buy into the governor's hype, further eroding compliance with her "orders".

Jon
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 12:53pm

I just hope people remember this come election time. Financial suicide for the economy just to prove her point. I voted for her before. She will not be getting my vote next time.

Anonymous
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 3:37pm

She can "open the economy", but most of us will not spend our money or send our kids to school until we feel safe.

jan d
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 9:04am

Absolutely, stay home, don't spend your money and don't send your kids to school. If that works for you, do it.

Anonymous
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:29am

So your business will fail, unless it is essential, and people will die unnecessarily.

Todd
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:21am

Most of us? Please do only speak for yourself. Stay home. I'd rather you and yours did that.

Grow up
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:45am

Most of us are staying home, with or without a governor's order because most of us aren't dumb. The governor reflects the values most of us share to preserve life so that we can prosper with due respect to the ravages of the virus. We are not staying home because we want to stay home and we are not wanting to go out just to spite the governor.

LH
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 12:13pm

And those of us who want to shop, eat out, etc., should have the opportunity to do so, while those who want to stay home can do so. But when you do finally feel safe enough to venture out, don't be surprised when your favorite restaurant or hair salon has an "out of business" sign in the window.

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:48am

Tell us where you like to eat and get your hair done. We can try to support them when they open.

vlg
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 7:33pm

I agree. She will not get my vote next time!

Jim tomlinson
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 8:52am

love to see state open. But one can never trust the gop to govern for the public. Thats been proven over and over again since after milliken years in the state and since after eisenhower at federal level. The white house is responsible for most of the disaster.

Obama GOAT
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:32am

I so miss Obama, greatest of all time. Please, Biden, pick Michelle for VP. I want Obama anyway possible.

James
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:18am

How is the white house responsible when the responsibility for dealing with this is with the state governments and not the federal government?

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:52am

Defense Production Act

Jim Pearson
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 11:07am

Governor Whitmer has no history of being a leader in any capacity. Michigan got what it voted for here.

Impressed by Gretch
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:36am

Yet she is doing an awesome job. We thank her for rising to the occasion. The same can be said for Trump, but he sank into the swamp, instead of rising to the occasion. The contrast is so stark.

Rick Raisen
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 11:12am

Fear and panic. That's the goal here- create fear and panic in order to paralyze the population and prevent them from asking questions or understanding the situation. And then when the courts rule that she acted unconstitutionally, she'll switch over to blame and victimhood and pretend that someone else must have been in charge for all the bad things that occurred. That's her playbook- it has always been. And a lot of people get fooled by that.

I hope you all will grow up, wise up, brave up, cheer up, and go out and live your lives again as free and sovereign individuals. We should not obey unjust laws or submit to unjust practices- instead we must now resume our normal lives peacefully, openly, and cheerfully.

Elizabeth O'Day
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:41am

Rick, I completely agree. That is what Trump has been doing, and continues to do, since he announced his election in 2015. However that is not the case for Whitmer.

Boonskis
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 12:08pm

In Camus's work on Nazism, "The Plague," the author details life under quarantine due to a disease. It remarkably echos today's pandemic. One aspect of this is how blame easily goes onto government officials in charge of the quarantine rather than on the disease: it's hard to "blame" a virus. And someone enacting quarantine orders inflicts pain, just like the disease. That's not to say that criticism of the government is wrong. I think it is fair to say that the governor has made many decisions, many tough ones. There are reasons to change things now, and maybe that should have happened weeks ago: is the opposition (I don't say republicans because there are democrats & independents who disagree with total shutdown, too) able to sit down with the governor? If not, why not? That's an important question to answer. Is it just the governor's fault. Possibly, but has opposition to shut down been willing to sit down too? I do believe that if things open up now, people have acquired habits that will impede the spread of the virus anyway. I was out for a bike ride this weekend, and was amazed at how much of a wide berth others gave me when we crossed paths! This is not regulated by the government: this is fear of a disease. We listen to our fear more than to laws. Gov't hasn't been heavy handed here as in Europe or other countries: How many individuals have been stopped by the Mich State police for any of their actions? I know businesses have been affected heavily because of closing. But what we need to remember is that even without forced closing many businesses (hair salons, restaurants, auto dealerships, realtors, and on and on) would have suffered anyway because people simply wouldn't have patronized them at this time. In other words, it's easy to say "it's the governor", when, in truth, what is going on is more the result of our own fear and carefulness. Bottom line: let's talk this out as adults, pay attention to the science, we're all in this together, and to portray the current administration ---or the opposition--as wanting the wrong thing is probably misguided.

Mike Ewald
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 3:48pm

Those businesses would not have suffered anywhere near as badly if the rational healthy population were allowed to continue to use their services. Yes, it is the governor's fault. Yes, it was her decision to shut those businesses down- although technically it is an illegal shutdown after 28 days, and hopefully the supreme court will correct that issue shortly. If they don't I'm afraid Whitmer will decide it isn't safe for anyone to come out until there is a vaccine. That's not her decision to make- it's each individual's decision. It's painful watching 25 years of my family business' growth erased by one misinformed and arrogant individual who is so far removed from having to worry about her livelihood that she can't understand.

The current police state of not even allowing a gathering of 2 people on my private property is so far beyond any measure of reasonable reaction, it's hard to understand how anyone could back it. Smoking, Heart Disease, Auto Crashes are just a few examples of causes of death that kill several times more people than coronavirus annually, but we don't ban smoking in people's own homes, we don't ban car travel indefinitely, or reduce the speed limit to 25 mph on the freeway. We don't ban the use of butter and salt. I think even you would agree those would be objectively ridiculous oversteps. Based on the scale of the problem, her current restrictions are equally insane. Look, if you want to continue to require masks, distancing and cleanings in essential businesses like grocery stores, gas stations, hospitals and pharmacies indefinitely, that could be a reasonable action. Other non-essential businesses should be allowed to open and operate as normal though. The survival rate among infected 18-44 year old individuals without conditions such as asthma and diabetes is over 99.95%. That group represents 60% of the US workforce. Combined with the number of people in the high-risk categories who are able to work from home, we can reopen enough to keep our businesses alive without risking life.

This shutdown was initially sold to us as 'flatten the curve.' Well guess what, the curve was flattened 5 weeks ago, even if you go by the 7 day moving average. Now nurses and doctors are being laid off as well, because the 'data' that Whitmer is so fond of referencing was badly inaccurate. We spent inordinate amounts of money opening new field hospitals that were never used. In fact the total number of in-patient COVID patients in all of Michigan isn't even enough to fill one of the field hospitals if every patient was transferred there. The real data is all publicly available, you don't have to blindly trust her judgement and the cable news headlines. What are we waiting for? The only way that number can go to zero would be a widespread vaccine, which is 1-2 years away in a dream scenario, which would still be a record for the fastest vaccine produced by far.

This doesn't even account for the fact that 3 months + of isolation have and will continue to cause more mortality due to mental decay, stress from losing jobs and homes.

TLDR: Return freedom to the people. Stay home and use contactless delivery services if you are in a high-risk group.

Disgusted
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:57am

Before this crisis, Republicans have never cared about helping people with mental health problems. In truth they still don't because I haven't seen the any proposed legislation by them to address mental healthcare, other than merely reopening the economy. Do mental health problems just go away when the economy opens? You people seem like Trump who told us, and continues to tell us, the virus will just magically disappear. Now even with the shutdowns we have over 91,061 people in America dead, numbers under reported. Trump initially said maybe no one would die in America from COVID19. Why would we believe him or ANY Republican sycophant? You people are sick enablers as bad or worse than Trump. You fuel his dangerous sociopathy.

Anonymous
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:04am

Mike, you're a dolt.
In 2019, an estimated 38,800 people lost their lives to car crashes in the US. That's in a whole year and whether you realize it or not cars and driving are highly regulated.

Jason
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 2:31pm

Well said!

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:56am

...if you are a Trump sycophant. What are they putting in that hydroxychloroquine everyone seems to be drinking lately?

Ju
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 10:48am

Totally agree with this. You are right on

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:25am

Mike, the curve was flattened five weeks ago? We're second only to Russia in new cases.

Matuzak
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 11:20pm

The biggest problem with what you have said is that the legislature did try to work it out, they did NOT want to extend the lockdown and specifically voted against it.
The governor went right ahead and bypassed them and did what she wanted to.
That's about the time the demonstrations started.
So who is it that is unwilling to talk it out?

Anonymous
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:07am

The legislature instead of addressing armed militias at the capitol, closed the capitol. So the militias won. Thanks GOP for encouraging mob rule.

LH
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 1:23pm

Fear can be a healthy thing -- we should fear trying to walk across an interstate highway in the middle of the day, for example. But FDR had something to say about fear: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." When fear is being generated and encouraged by those in power, it can be very, very dangerous when we don't take the time to back up and take an objective look at the facts and make choices for ourselves.

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 9:58am

So even you are tired of Trump?

10x25mm
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 1:05pm

It’s neither complicated, nor vague.
Wretched Gretchen will keep her foot on our throats until she runs out of other people's money.

William R.
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 11:40pm

Everybody is suffering to one degree or another. Some to a greater degree than others. We are all in this together. We just hear the whiners ,those who whine the loudest get heard .They are in the MINORITY. I hope she keeps her foot on the throat of all those WHINERS so us TRUE PATRIOTS don't hear their DAMN WHINING !!!

Jason Burnside
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 7:37am

William, please stop your damn whining and get back under your madam Whitmer's foot. Some people are into that type of thing. The rest of you shouldn't be surprised that sexual deviants support our governor who supported and protected Larry NASSAR.

Cheryl G
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:14am

William is right, is that the best you have? There's no shortage of Republican sexual deviants. In fact, listening to the Access Holywood tape, you would have to agree that the guy at the top is the chief example, no?

Sue
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:23am

Jason, it seems William was praising the governor, not whining.

Todd
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:24am

Describing yourself as a patriot in the same sentence as hoping for the downfall of others. How liberal of you. I myself hope that most of the businesses that fall are liberal owned.

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 10:01am

They're more likely to survive because they are more likely to take precautions and have online, tech solutions. In sum, they are more likely to be real entrepreneurs who can't afford to rely on government socialism that the richest companies got from Trump.

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 10:03am

Pot is pretty liberal, doing great and paying taxes. How are conservative businesses doing with CARES, PPP, and other government socialism?

Anonymous
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 1:40pm

Governor Whitmer has no idea what she is doing. It's time for people to rise up and take back their freedom, liberty, property rights, and right to life.

The police state and tyranny is brought to you by those willing to follow commands, regardless of the morality of the command. Tyrants can’t have power without people willing to enforce the tyranny. If there are no order followers, there are no orders.

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 10:04am

Didn't you post that four times already? Trying to make it six so it sticks?

PLombard
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 1:48pm

“There’s no textbook specific number…” says the governor.

We know there is no such thing and we’re not asking for it. But important things are usually measured and we’re asking what the governor believes those are. Human nature and activity involve observable behaviors and they can be measured in varying degrees. If it’s some combination of say, daily tests, number of positive cases, and hospital occupancy rates, then tell us.

“There is no magic number” said the chair of the Epidemiology Department at the U of M.

Once again, residents are not expecting a measurement only available in a Harry Potter book. Perhaps there’s a permissible range, dependent upon other indices.

If 30,000 tests a day are one key step, then let’s have the governor state the other key steps and associated measurements.

I get that folks like me (with advanced degrees in armchair epidemiology) are an annoyance and the legislature doesn’t reveal the detail in how it makes its own decisions any more than the executive, but if just one person is making decisions, I think you have to be a little more open and transparent.

Sigh
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:34am

I appreciate your honesty in admitting your lack of credentials. Opinions are like bungholes. Everyone has one. Leave the decisions to the people with real degrees and experience in epidemiology. There are enough of them, without your opinions.

Edith Covil
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 2:57pm

Unfortunately Gretchen isn't even considering there ARE NO CASES in the Upper Peninsula She bases her figures largely on the CITY OF DETROIT, Wayne County.
Living on the WEST side of Michigan, we haven't had a new case, IF we ever had a case since this started. She is inflicting her MARSHALL LAW on everyone with BLINDERS ON! Because to Gretchen, Nothing ever happens unless it happens in Detroit!
Of course, including the entire state she receives larger Federal Funding amounts for Detroit. The rest of us? Don't exist, and nor does she care.

DG
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 2:32am

All she has to do is seal off from 75 east to the border, and from the state line north to 96 or so.

The rest of the state is fine.

LOL
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:35am

No one would call her a dictator if she did that, right?

middle of the mit
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 7:50pm

How could they? It would fit their argument for the 1970's bill (areas in the State), and they don't like that part of the State. Those conservatives below those lines.....

They don't care. Your votes don't matter to them.

Anonymous
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:38am

Edith, you exaggerate. There are cases and deaths in the UP. Soon there will be plenty more when we come to visit Pictured Rocks or not.

silent majority
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 3:43pm

We could have been open weeks ago, if we had widespread free testing available, compliant social distancing and usage of masks, but some people who want Whitmer to fail at all costs dismiss and mock safety standards, pretend the worldwide pandemic is a Democratic hoax perpetuated to hurt Trump. My questions regard all the unexplained corpses and why the GOP and Trump passed all the stimulus packages.

Phyllis
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:41am

I see no one from the GOP wants to address this comment. I silently agree with you and the majority.

Julie Klaczkiewicz
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 4:07pm

My husband and I would rather play safe than sorry. So we agree with the Govenors handling of this crisis. For those who don't think about the children, this virus is now starting to kill them. Its foolish to put them in danger.

Brad
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 12:58pm

If you're scared and don't feel safe, stay home, you have that right. You don't force me to stay home because you're scared. Why should you have the right to do what you feel is safe but I don't get the right to choose for myself? Also, no matter how much the media tries to portray this virus as a child killer, it is not. All current data shows children have almost zero risk of dying and extremely low risk of anything beyond mild symptoms. There is no factual link between COVID-19 and the Kawasaki disease you're referring to.

silent majority
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 10:56am

Hey Brad, we could have been open weeks ago, if we had widespread free testing available, compliant social distancing and usage of masks, but some people who want Whitmer to fail at all costs dismiss and mock safety standards, pretend the worldwide pandemic is a Democratic hoax perpetuated to hurt Trump. My questions regard all the unexplained corpses and why the GOP and Trump passed all the stimulus packages.

Anonymous
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 4:27pm

If the re-opening plan was communicated in a simple and understandable and predictable way so that businesses could plan based on data and measurable, then people would be happier and more prosperous and hopeful. This isn't Whitmer's goal. She desires to keep us fearful, despairing, and poor until November so that Creepy Joe can win and then soon forget who he is, and then Whitmer can become dictator.

Fr Mike
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:47am

That's not how viruses work. Your life is complicated now, much like everyone in the whole world. I will pray for you. Your last few sentences show you are very troubled and could use some professional help from a doctor, clergy, or both. At the very least, I hope there is someone who can give you a hug. God loves us all and trust in His Love.

Marc
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 5:02pm

I've heard a number of businesses are planning to reopen June 1 because they're assuming that the governor won't extend the order for at least a few weeks. I am positive they're wrong, at least for restaurants, bars and probably hotels and hair salons.

Anonymous
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:53am

With the time it takes to see if there are spikes in other states that opened, it makes sense to wait.

GEH
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 9:02pm

The governor makes rules and decides what businesses are essential causing massive financial devastation to most people in the state. She allows the continued sales of alcohol, cigarettes, lottery tickets, and marijuana as essential because those activities provide significant income for the state. She takes a 10% pay cut to demonstrate that she is equal to everyone else, but why didn't she lower her salary to the same 962 that unemployed people are getting, especially since she lives for free in the Governor's mansion. Hopefully the residents of Michigan, both republican and democrats recognize that her power grab is simply her audition to get on Biden's ticket.

GED
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:55am

Prohibition was a failure. Read about it.

Anonymous
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 10:15pm

"working to curb the virus that has killed nearly 5,000 in Michigan".
When do we start to have a serious discussion about the difference between dying "from" coronavirus and dying "with" coronavirus? Was it coronavirus or stage 4 cancer? Was it coronavirus or blunt force trauma? Many think it's a joke, but this misreporting is not at all funny.

Anonymous
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:58am

People with cancer can get treatment. Many are just too afraid to get treatment because they don't want to get COVID19. Catch 22, but your basic premise is not true.

Al Dupond
Sun, 05/17/2020 - 11:52pm

Everyone in Michigan would like to see more information about how these decisions are being made... and yet that information, those studies, that data, the science, the reasoning, and the information is not there. This is amateur hour and Whitmer is just making arbitrary decisions based on fear and political pressure- Michigan picked a bad year to put a zero in the Governor's position.

Lauren H
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 9:13am

+ 10.
I don’t think Gov. Whitmer has some nefarious plan to wreck Michigan and beat Trump. I think she’s just way out of her depth. She’s apparently listening primarily to epidemiologists in academia who have no idea how to reopen an economy. And she’s too inept to understand that real leadership isn’t about just telling people what to do. It’s about enabling those around you to do their best. That’s what unleashes the creativity and energy that creates solutions. Instead, Gov. Whitmer is treating the people of Michigan like children.

By not providing any real parameters for when we will reopen or even acknowledging what the real goals are at this point (preserving ICU capacity was the original goal; no idea what it is now), she’s essentially shutting us out, telling us she knows best and she’ll share her edicts with us when she’s ready. But what’s becoming increasingly apparent is she simply has no idea what to do. In the meantime, Michigan crashes.

Rose
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:37am

"She’s apparently listening primarily to epidemiologists..."

So she should NOT be listening to the EXPERTS, i.e. epidemiologists? Really? The educated EXPERTS who have the FACTS are telling us that this disease is deadly and opening up too fast will KILL more people than have already died. This is a medical issue, not a political one. Please provide the science, medical, infectious disease credentials for those who value getting haircuts, tattoos, going out to eat, getting nails done, having huge house parties,etc., over protecting life.

To those who want to open the state and, therefore, value money over life, how many dead people are acceptable to you? This is a serious question. We have nearly 5,000 dead in MI, nearly 90,000 dead nationally. What number/price is too high to pay for a hair cut?

Lauren H
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 6:29pm

Rose, I’m glad she’s talking to academic epidemiologists. But they know nothing about opening up an economy. And we can’t wait for a vaccine or a cure to do that, much as we might like to. Not because we love money more than the lives of people; that’s a straw man. People are losing their homes. They’re lining up for food. They’re terrified because they don’t know how they’re going to feed their families.

This isn’t about getting a haircut or going shopping. It’s about survival every bit as much as dodging Covid-19 is.

We need our governor to present a solid plan for letting people get back to work, over time, *with specifics.* She seems unable to do this.

WTF
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:04am

Lauren, she's talking to both epidemiologists and industry leaders to develop guidelines suggested by the industries. Quit whining.

Sarah
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 12:13pm

Lauren, which parameters have the GOP legislature in Michigan proposed? They are being paid to do nothing but parrot platitudes, no specifics. They mention following the vague CDC guidelines that Trump gutted.

Anonymous
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 12:05pm

Al, contrary to your wish, this is not "amateur" hour. The governor is consulting with epidemiological professionals in Michigan and throughout the world. She doesn't need opinions of dolts from the peanut gallery with no science-based credentials.

middle of the mit
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 12:51am

Read the comments above.

Know that they all think this is crap. Because they do. Again, read their comments. All the while the "real news broadcasters" are still hiding behind their laptops while telling you to be patriots.

They complain because the Governor has no plan, but do the Republican legislators? Does the Federal Government? Do your local leaders? Does it matter at this point? Are you going to follow your elected leaders or is it a free for all? And Bridge, who started this "we don't need to follow our elected leaders laws"?

Bridge refused to post my comment where I told you what Wisconsin did when they won their Supreme Court battle.

Will Bridge post this one?

https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2020/05/13/wisconsin-supreme-court-o...

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/court-ruling-opening-wisconsin-b...

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin may leave a patchwork of local policies in place for combating the coronavirus pandemic after the state Supreme Court tossed out the Democratic governor’s stay-at-home order, a Republican legislative leader said Thursday.

The court order threw communities into chaos, with some bars opening immediately while local leaders in other areas moved to keep strict restrictions in place to prevent further spread of the virus./////

This is what is coming to our State.

Why would the comment editors at Bridge leave a post like this out while allowing others that are actually.....shall we say.... vitriolic?

Republicans don't want to govern. The only reason they want power is to sell off every public good to wealthy people so that we are owned by the wealthy people. Isn't that why the State is left cleaning up all the toxic sites that those who know more than us claim bankruptcy over and leave us, the State, to pay to clean up?

Not because they know more than us.........they just know the right people to not have to take personal responsibility. Might have to do with Mitch wanting to seat all those judges he stole from Obama and why the McConnel rule for Supreme Court Judges doesn't exist anymore.

Come on!

At some point you have to call out those who are taking advantage. The conservatives are complaining because workers are getting an extra $600 per week. Doing the math that is $2400 per month for 3 maybe 4 months? What is that? $7,200-$9.600? And what are they going to do with that when most business is closed? Their rent and bills are paid for with their normal unemployment. What ever will they do with that extra money?

Spend it in YOUR LOCAL business when it reopens? Uhhhh ....Yeah! But yet you complain because they won't come back to work.

Yet there is NOT A SINGLE SOUL amongst you that will complain that you didn't get your small business loan that.........you had to go through banks and the SBA where you had to pay them Fees and interest...........instead of a check from the FED with a form telling you how you were to spend the money and a form for accounting for it..............no interest and no nothing. NO pay back.

That is they it should have and could've been.

Instead WE as a nation shoveled more trillions of dollars down Wall Streets throat than you could swallow and you have NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT THAT! Let alone the Federal definition of a small business that stole your loans from you.

This is what makes me use capital letters!

Why does OUR President use capital letters?

Understand the difference?

It IS partisan. I want to help you.

Why do you want to shove more money that apparently we don't have, down the throats of those who already have it all, but refuse to help those who need the help?

#Proudsheepnation

You should pray for that.

Because that is not what we are.

This is a Goat nation.

Matt
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 3:16pm

Just guessing Bridge skipped your comment because as usual it isn't a comment. It's an article stuck in the comment section.

middle of the mit
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 8:05pm

Article, comment.......

So what is the comment section for? I always thought that comment sections were for people to discuss dialog and ideas and why you don't agree with me and I don't agree with you and where we could meet at some point. In order to do that you have to put your thoughts into words.

All conservatives seem to want to do, is push pablum. Talking point after talking point. They don't want to have their ideas pushed back against because they would see the utter fallacy of what they believe in........not all of it mind you....but a lot of it.

Think of the dark ages.

Do you want that back?

Who had control during those times?

Liberals or conservatives?

middle of the mit
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 8:20pm

RE Attack the person who tells you their posts don't get posted (could we see all of Reveres posts that don't get posted) instead of the content.

Hmmm..

DG
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 2:30am

The time to reopen is NOW. Why are we under this ridiculious lockdown still? No one is still following it anyways as more and more people are realizing whitmer is nothing but a DNC tyrant puppet.

Dont get to use to the governors chair whitmer....you wont be there for another 4 years.

Anonymous
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 12:26pm

Where aren't they following it? Sure there are a few clowns, but most people are following the orders.

Aloneanddepressed
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 3:26am

I was almost a causality of Covid 19 isolation. I followed her orders not to travel from one residence to another when I needed to be with family. My depression from the isolation mixed with anxiety caused me to attempt suicide. I'm not saying this to get sympathy. I want people to be aware that we can only handle so much before we break. I was not alone. I'm not a lone statistic of isolation induced suicide attempts. She needs to understand what she is doing is greatly affecting the mental health and well-being of the citizens of Michigan.

Strong feelings
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 12:35pm

I know how you feel, but my feelings were for the opposite reasons. Last week I got really depressed and thought about suicide when I heard there was pressure to reopen the economy. I felt like our politicians cared more about money than our lives. I wondered why there was not no one promoting programs for people like you and me who need help. I lost faith in humanity. Our governor's slow measured approach restores my sense of well being. The president's reckless approach scares and troubles me profoundly.

Karen
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 7:30am

She has no science behind what she is doing. She is gone to far. She has taken away are right of religion, are right of medical care, are right to work and are right to move about freely. She can not write laws. These are our rights under the constitution and she took an oath to uphold them. Why is she not gone.

Anonymous
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 12:48pm

"She has no science behind what she is doing. She is gone to far. She has taken away are right of religion, are right of medical care, are right to work and are right to move about freely. She can not write laws. These are our rights under the constitution and she took an oath to uphold them. Why is she not gone."

Karen, calm down. Are you drunk?

Jason Burnside
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 7:34am

The rest of the country is reopening. Michigan is still stuck without a plan. You can't call what we have a plan, it is a disgrace. Our local government failed during the early stages of this pandemic and I guess we shouldn't be surprised that they continue to fail spectacularly. It is time that we stop allowing these buffoons in office to steal directly from us.

Anonymous
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 12:51pm

Trump failed us and continues to do so. The open states will spike and have to close again.

Dan
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 8:17am

Another situation caused by her stay-at-home orders is that women are using it to stop fathers from seeing their children. they're having judges sign orders to stop all child visitation until her stay at home order/social distancing is over. And that could be until next spring.

Anonymous
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 12:52pm

At least we know the children are safe.

Anonymous
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 5:24pm

The children have always been safe. One kid died in all of Michigan from COVID. About the same number of children die every year from falling out of bed in the morning (based on recent studies, it averages about 1 per year), and yet kids still get out of bed every day.

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:10am

Then the fathers should have stayed married.

Bruce Kanuch
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 8:43am

Hang in there Governor.

Terry
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 12:45pm

Bruce K Yep. My thoughts exactly. I'll even buy the rope!

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:12am

Terry, you are vile.

When?
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 9:15am

My guess would be when there is irreversible damage that has swept through the state and country so much that the hope of blaming this all on one guy gets real and the dependence on government gets to be the only choice. This is about an election, nothing more. This virus was weaponized and if you say otherwise you are simply lying to yourself. This is also an audition for VP. Whitmer cares NOTHING about the people of this state but more about political agendas. Hell, her cohorts have admitted they'd love to see the economy crash if it means getting rid of Trump so I guess Christmas came early for them this year in the form of a crisis that they clearly aren't letting go to waste. They like us divided because we will be easier to control. This is all about power and control. More people will die from being locked down/closed than the virus itself. That's a fact. The only science her and her liberal minions follow is the science that suits their needs. In this case they make up their own science. It's very sad that we are their pawns. Thank God I split my time with Florida. In fact, I'm going to finally sell my house here in Northville and get back to being a full time Florida resident again. I'm washing my hands of this monarchy. To think the idea of living in Michigan part time was a good idea...wow. I should have listened to many people who warned me of it. Lesson learned.

Anonymous
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 11:44am

"More people will die from being locked down/closed than the virus itself. That's a fact. "

Please provide links to the the peer reviewed journal sources or other scientific studies which support his fact. I am interested in reading the original research studies and learning about the data and the credentials of the scientists who are asserting this fact.

Ba Bye, Good Ri...
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 1:01pm

The 90,000 plus Americans dead from COVID19 disagree with you. Are you hoping to live in Florida or just buy a cemetery plot?

Former Trumper
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:20am

"They like us divided because we will be easier to control." I take this personally because I voted for Trump and now his minions are saying I'm expendable because I'm "old". Make America Great Again, unless you are "old".

Joe
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 9:15am

I thought we were relying on "the science and the data".....if we are now just relying on a "we'll know it when we see it" approach, that sure doesn't look like science or data.

Paul Glendon
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 9:29am

This is an extremely thorough, balanced article, as expected from Bridge. The last thing we need is unfounded, false clarity. Kudos both to Bridge and Gov. Whitmer for resisting that temptation and presenting facts and related uncertainty honestly and with appropriate nuance. Keep up the good work!

sheila c
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 12:50pm

I couldn't agree more. Thank you, Bridge.

Bow to the Dictator
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 9:33am

Dictator Whitmer will stop ruining the economy when she's finally grown tired of punishing the peasants and when she can't get one more preening self-serving national media interview.

Covid was the best thing that could have happened to her political career: she went from an irrelevant nobody to a national media darling, all while standing on the dead bodies of the disease victims.

Not playing
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:29am

Sounds like you have a fetish.

Jim
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 9:37am

There are two recent studies that to me are critical.
Spain, which has a death rate from COVID-19 much higher than the US just found out that only about 5% of it's population has COVID-19 antibodies. That means 95% of the population either has some not understood immunity, or much more likely have not yet been seriously exposed to the virus.
https://www.vox.com/2020/5/16/21259492/covid-antibodies-spain-serology-s...
Secondly, was research on the amount of virus load and for how long you need to be exposed to it to possible get the virus. Spending only up to 5 minutes face to face speaking with an infected person might be enough for you to become infected. Singing, yelling, or heavy breathing from exertion, all have different parameters.
https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them?fbclid=I...
and
https://www.erinbromage.com/post/flying-in-the-age-of-covid-19
Let other states be the "canary in the coal mine" to find out what the cost might be from drastically easing restrictions.

Not a GOP guinea pig
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:41am

Exactly, Jim, even Trump in his ivory tower with all his money, all his power, and all his 24/7 testing thought he was invincible, until he realized the tests are only about 50% accurate. Now he's drinking hydroxychloroquine and telling eveyone else to do the same, despite his own FDA saying not to do so, especially if you are morbidly obese as he is. Instead of invoking the Defense Production Act to develop effective affordable accurate testing months ago so we could reopen the economy safely, he sits on his fatass and gives dangerous medical advice that his medical expert Dr Birx refuses to address. Fire Birx already. Let the governors of the other states treat their constituents as guinea pigs.

Mike
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 9:48am

Whitmer is demonstrating terrible leadership in this crisis. My business has been closed since the start and her rules make it impossible for me to legally open again despite being an outdoor business where the risk of disease spread would be very low, and my location in northern Michigan where the C19 incidence rate is almost non-existent. There have been no plans put forth by the governor to tell us when we can expect to reopen, so I'm slowly watching my business that I've built up for decades die. I have a call into Whittier's office, but still no response back. I'll keep waiting and going broke.

Bobby S
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:15am

The incompetence of witless dimwhitmer is on full display each and every time she parades herself in public. Michigan is laughed at every day by freedom loving folks that see her displaying herself as the hapless monarch she thinks she is. She is clueless! Being a typical democrat, her immediate response to anything is to go to the socialist/communist playbook and oppress the people folks. She hates the idea of a freedom and loves being a dictator. I'd bet dime she also loves to see all these democrat mushroom defenders (sycophants) willingly & enthusiastically jump in line to support her tyrannical administration. The only thing she and her administration have really accomplished is the re-election
of DJT. She is incapable (being a democrat) of understanding that dictatorial socialism/communism doesn't/can't work and people being free to live how GOD created them to be.

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:47am

Bobby, one question: is the earth flat?

Bobby S
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:16am

The incompetence of witless dimwhitmer is on full display each and every time she parades herself in public. Michigan is laughed at every day by freedom loving folks that see her displaying herself as the hapless monarch she thinks she is. She is clueless! Being a typical democrat, her immediate response to anything is to go to the socialist/communist playbook and oppress the people folks. She hates the idea of a freedom and loves being a dictator. I'd bet dime she also loves to see all these democrat mushroom defenders (sycophants) willingly & enthusiastically jump in line to support her tyrannical administration. The only thing she and her administration have really accomplished is the re-election
of DJT. She is incapable (being a democrat) of understanding that dictatorial socialism/communism doesn't/can't work and people being free to live how GOD created them to be.

LOL
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:49am

Keep trying.

Bobby S
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:16am

The incompetence of witless dimwhitmer is on full display each and every time she parades herself in public. Michigan is laughed at every day by freedom loving folks that see her displaying herself as the hapless monarch she thinks she is. She is clueless! Being a typical democrat, her immediate response to anything is to go to the socialist/communist playbook and oppress the people folks. She hates the idea of a freedom and loves being a dictator. I'd bet dime she also loves to see all these democrat mushroom defenders (sycophants) willingly & enthusiastically jump in line to support her tyrannical administration. The only thing she and her administration have really accomplished is the re-election
of DJT. She is incapable (being a democrat) of understanding that dictatorial socialism/communism doesn't/can't work and people being free to live how GOD created them to be.

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:51am

Usually the third time's a charm, but it looks like you still haven't been able take care of the typos, edits, grammar problems. Are you drunk or always like this?

To complainers
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 12:29pm

There are some new entrepreneurs out there doing well and that's a good thing, now that I can cut my own hair and cook, paint, and garden like a pro. I never felt more accomplished. God bless the new American entrepreneurs, ingenuity and self-reliance.

Georgie
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 1:15pm

The order doesn't even matter and neither do half the comments out here or the protests. I work for an essential business and driving through Macomb county today, I saw TONS of businesses open that shouldn't be. People are doing what they want and nobody is stopping them so this has all become rather pointless and disheartening especially given I know people who have died from the virus.

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:53am

If you really cared, Georgie, you'd report those businesses. So I doubt you are telling the truth or being sincere.

Open for business
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 1:30pm

Gov. Whitmer is little more than a partisan hack. The fact is that her orders are meaningless at this point as most of Michigan is simply ignoring her orders. There is nothing the Governor could do if the majority business just opened. Is she going to take the business licenses of all if Michigan? Not likely! Then just do business without the license, again not much the Governor can do about it.

Ignore the crazy woman behind the curtain.

Anonymous
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:55am

Like who, Open? Which businesses are ignoring her order, the barber? At least he has the courage to stand for his convictions. You hide behind a curtain and spread lies.

Jake
Mon, 05/18/2020 - 3:06pm

Anybody know why the testing numbers from the State website do not add up for May 13th? If you add up the testing numbers for the 8 regions, the totals do not add up to the totals they show in the table for the overall State numbers. They show 13.2% positive in the overall State table but if you do the math adding up each region the percent positive is only 7.5% which is closer to what it has been the past two weeks.
https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98163_98173_99225---,0...

Hmmm
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:57am

You might want to contact the State of Michigan. This is the comment section for Bridge magazine.

Jake
Wed, 05/20/2020 - 9:22am

I thought of contacting he State but did not want to be put on some list by the State.
I was hoping someone here would point out how my math was wrong.

Donna Taylor
Sat, 06/06/2020 - 3:14pm

Then there is nothing to say, because my outrage at her actions can only be described in foul language. She is crazy with power and needs to be removed, along with her AG. She is the all time worst person we have ever had occupy the governors office. She is a disgrace to our state, and the sooner she is gone the better off our state will be. She is completely incompetent, not to mention a hypocrite. The incident where she put her husband up to getting her boat out ahead of others is unconscionable. She tried to say it was a joke but no one is buying that, and if she thinks we are she is dumber than she looks.