Whitmer: Michigan school reopening threatened by rising coronavirus cases

Coronavirus cases have been rising statewide in the last three weeks. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer warned during a press conference Thursday that could jeopardize a plan to reopen schools in the fall. (Courtesy photo)

Nine days after releasing a school reopening plan that would allow Michigan students to return to classrooms in the fall, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer tapped the brakes Thursday, saying that if a recent increase in coronavirus cases continues, students might have to stay home.

We want to be in a position where we can get our kids back in schools in eight weeks,” Whitmer said at a news conference. “On the trajectory we’re on... it’s very much in question.”

Whitmer also reiterated the importance of wearing masks while in indoor public spaces, and indicated she may take actions in the coming days to enforce mask-wearing requirements. 

“I feel for businesses that are doing all the right things…these businesses are also asking for tougher rules so that they can point to it and say this is the law,” Whitmer said. “Right now it’s required and for some reason people don’t seem to know that.”

Whitmer’s current executive order requires the wearing of face masks in enclosed areas such as restaurants, bars and retail stores. Law enforcement officials can issue misdemeanors and fines to people and businesses who don’t comply, though there has been little evidence of enforcement.

Whitmer’s caution about school reopening comes at a time when she and other governors are facing pressure from President Donald Trump and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who both have said in recent days that schools should be open for all students every school day this fall, despite the lack of a vaccine for the potentially deadly virus that has so far killed more than 6,000 Michigan residents and 134,000 nationwide.

Trump threatened Wednesday to withhold federal funding for schools that don’t fully reopen, though it was unclear whether that was possible with existing school funding. One possibility that has been floated is that additional federal assistance for schools to cover costs tied to the pandemic could be tied to students rather than schools — with schools not receiving funds for students who aren’t sitting in classrooms.

DeVos said Tuesday that she was “seriously considering” withholding funds from schools with fall plans for online learning or a mix of online and in-person education. She said people who raise concerns about schools spreading COVID-19 are “fear-mongering.”

Some Michigan schools have announced plans for a mix of in-classroom and homebound learning, in an effort to limit the number of students in schools at any one time, allowing schools to keep students six feet apart.

Whitmer’s school reopening plan doesn’t require social-distancing, but schools are allowed to take safety measures above and beyond those required in the plan.

Confirmed new infections, while lower than at the peak of the pandemic in April, have been rising in Michigan over the past month. Wednesday’s one-day total for new cases was 610, the highest in seven weeks. The seven-day average of new daily cases has nearly tripled in the past month.

Appearing on CNN Wednesday, Whitmer said Michigan had to make decisions about school reopening based on science, not politics.

“I’m not sending kids and our education workforce into our schools unless it's safe. It’s that simple,” Whitmer told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “The reason Michigan has been able to push our curve down is because we’re listening to scientists. Not threats. Not politicians. We got to make decisions based on keeping people safe.”

Whitmer’s school reopening plan, which she said was crafted in partnership with a 25-member advisory panel of school and health officials, required safety protocols that varied by pandemic phase. Under the current phase (phase 4), all teachers and staff would wear face masks, as well as most students.

If Whitmer moves the state to phase 5, safety protocols are loosened. For example, masks would be “strongly recommended” rather than required. Whitmer said at the time the school reopening plan was announced June 30 that she hoped the state would move to phase 5 before schools reopen in September.

Since that announcement, however, infections have risen.

“I’m concerned,” Whitmer told CNN. “I’m a parent… We’re eight weeks out and we know the trends nationwide are not very good… eight weeks will go by very quickly, and if we don’t get a handle on these fundamentals, it’s going to be very risky to debate whether or not we send kids back into classrooms. As a parent, as a governor, I want to get kids back into in-person instruction, but we can’t do it if it’s not safe. That’s why the actions now really matter.”

At her Tuesday news conference in Lansing, Whitmer said that if Michigan families want their children to be able to go back into classrooms in September, they need to act now: wear face masks, maintain social distance and avoid large gatherings.

Michigan’s school children have been out of classrooms since mid-March in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“If the numbers continue to go up, we will have to dial back, and we know what  that looks like because we’ve been there,” Whitmer said.

While hinting at future face mask executive orders if the upward trajectory in coronavirus cases continues, Whitmer said she would rather Michigan residents wear masks because “it’s the right thing to do.”

“The last thing I want to do is be doling out lots of penalties. What we’re trying to do is get people to do the right thing for the right reasons,” Whitmer said, but added “there are perhaps additional steps we can take” to increase compliance, which will be made public in the coming “day or week.”

Coronavirus cases have been rising statewide, with the highest rate hike in Grand Rapids and increases in Detroit, Kalamazoo and Lansing, Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said Thursday. Even the Upper Peninsula is experiencing the highest rate of new cases it’s seen since the coronavirus was discovered in Michigan in March. 

That’s been prompted in part by increased contacts among people returning to restaurants, bars and other businesses under eased guidelines after cases fell throughout June. In some instances — such as at Harper’s Restaurant and Brewpub in East Lansing and videos of partygoers at Diamond Lake in Cass County — people have been shown crowding together without masks. 

Wearing face masks in public is proven to help slow the spread of the new  coronavirus, especially when combined with hand-washing and social distancing.

Jonathan Oosting and Mike Wilkinson contributed to this report.

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

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Comments

Kevin Grand
Thu, 07/09/2020 - 5:39pm

"Wearing face masks in public is proven to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus, especially when combined with hand-washing and social distancing."

More misinformation from Michigan's "health expert".

So, what do real health experts have to say on the subject (like the New England Journal of Medicine)?

"We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic."

https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMp2006372

And the governor is using her "expert" to keep kids out of school...

ENOUGH
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 11:10am

As parents with children and relatives who are teachers, this reckless forcing the schools open without measure is worse than the reckless forcing of the economy open. WE CANNOT SLEEP AT NIGHT. I know you and the usual posters who share your views think this is some abstract ideological joke, but for the rest of us, this is our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Don't tell me to just stay home, keep my kids at home. This is OUR country, not yours alone. You obviously don't care for anyone but yourself.

MrLogical
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 4:56pm

Uhhhh...
Try flipping that around.
Fact: It's OUR country too.

Try science - real science - it's a powerful, time-tested antidote to unreasoned reflexive emotion.
Regrettably, this COVID crisis has been hijacked by partisan ideologues like Whitmer to advance their political agenda.

Anonymous
Sat, 07/11/2020 - 7:08am

So do you agree with the CDC (scientists working for the Trump administration) guidelines OR Trump?
President Trump claims Democrats are trying to keep schools closed to hurt his reelection

I'd suppose you trust the reporting of FOX News:
American Academy of Pediatrics breaks with White House over school reopenings
https://www.foxnews.com/us/american-academy-pediatrics-school-reopening

Do you believe in local state rights or federal control? DeVos and Trump want to force all schools all over the country open regardless of what local people want or need.

Trump left the heavy lifting to tackle the coronavirus (a threat to our national security) to the states, but wants to dictate local school decisions which are clearly a state power/right.

Elizabeth Brown
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 9:34pm

That statement is so irresponsible, bombastic and ignorant. Michigan parents overtly complained
about school closings and stated this favored "rich people" because they are the class that can afford
private childcare. A majority of parent surveys regarding conducted by schools have showed parents
*need and want full in classroom instruction. State rights? State law ? Your resentful because you know Whitmer
is yet another "one and done" democrat Governor in MI. Federal interceding is best since this Governor is incompetent
and cannot be trusted and she detests that she can be trumped legally. No MI resident is happy with her regardless of you
admitting it or not.

You tell 'em!
Tue, 07/14/2020 - 12:33pm

Remember when we feared big government and the nanny state forcing our children to schools to be indoctrinated? Now we need the national government to force open schools for businesses to have free daycare and Trump socialist indoctrination.

Wondering
Sat, 07/11/2020 - 7:15am

Do you support the "common defense"?

Matt G
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 11:48am

Hey Kevin,

Why do you cite medical journals and experts when it's about masks but not when it's about vaccines?

Have you read what the NJEM says about vaccines? You can't have it both ways.

Also, that paper is saying wearing non-N95 masks won't prevent you from being infected, but they do prevent coughs and breathing droplets from traveling as far, so they do help slow/prevent the spread in more casual/quicker contact situations like brief trips into stores.

So clearly opening schools is a bad idea, not wearing masks in public is a bad idea, and vaccines are a good idea. This is all according to your source. You know, the experts you love so much.

JV
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 12:17pm

The article you cite is over 3 months old. The journal recently published a follow-up to this article, I would suggest reading it.

JWK
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 5:12pm

A few things are erroneous about this comment. First of all, NEJM is not a 'health expert', it's a journal.

Secondly, the discussion in the link is about universal masking for hospital workers in hospitals. It's assuming health care worker wearing a mask, but patient (or others) are not wearing masks. It is suggesting that health care workers would need other equipment (e.g. face shields, gowns etc. to be fully protected). Notably, however, this article has nothing to do with wearing masks in other contexts. It also makes clear that "What is clear, however, is that universal masking alone is not a panacea". And goes on to discuss the need for other measures as well. Masks alone aren't the solution, but they are certainly PART of the solution in a healthcare setting.

Finally, as other's have noted, this article is a a couple of months out of date. The scientific understanding of COVID-19 is rapidly changing, so it's imperative to follow the latest advice based on the most up to date evidence. This is what the Governor is making use of, input from experts that are constantly consolidating a lot of disparate information and trying to distill it to a policy prescription. No easy task, for sure!

Kevin Grand
Sat, 07/11/2020 - 9:34am

In your rush to attack anything that dares to question your worldview, did you even bother to notice that article was written by actual doctors (as in pluraL)?

As a matter of fact, here's the byline that your in-depth reading obviously missed:

Michael Klompas, M.D., M.P.H., Charles A. Morris, M.D., M.P.H., Julia Sinclair, M.B.A., Madelyn Pearson, D.N.P., R.N., and Erica S. Shenoy, M.D., Ph.D.

Second, why does it matter WHERE this occurs? Transmission is transmission. If it is NOT effective in a hospital setting, why people are clamoring for this to be universally adopted everywhere else should be a big red flag as to its actual effectiveness.

Or, do you want to maintain the medical security theater to calm the masses?

Finally, people keep acting as if this is something totally and completely unknown.

We've had pandemics before. Even respiratory ones (i.e. TB, SARS, Swine Flu, etc).

Precautionary measures are going to remain largely unchanged. To claim otherwise strains all credibility.

And if you're able to make heads or tails out of what source of information the governor is really using, then you're doing better that the media outlets here in Michigan. They always leave that rather important detail out of their reporting.

JWK
Sat, 07/11/2020 - 1:17pm

Apologies if I came off as rash to criticize. Many people don't understand how scientific publishing and journals work, it was meant to be more for edification than criticism. Journals may publish something, but that doesn't necessarily mean they endorse it (unless it's an editorial, which this isn't). Good, rigorous, scientific debate is when different sides are able to publish their well-reasoned viewpoints.

My reading of the article is that it's suggesting that masks alone are not sufficient in a healthcare setting, not that masks are useless. The fact that this is specifically relating to a healthcare setting is relevant because in your typical healthcare setting with patient interactions, the patient will not be able to wear a mask the entire time during the appointment. So it's imperative we understand what precautions doctors and nurses must take. The article suggests that MORE precautions are necessary in this situation (face masks, gowns etc), not less, which seems to be at odds with your interpretation.

Hopefully now it's clear why the setting does matter, since the central point of mask wearing in general has has been made clear by the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-fac...), namely it is to prevent infected people from spreading the disease. Since many infected individuals are asymptomatic, this precaution makes sense to me. And yes, this is in line with my worldview that respiratory droplets exit during exhalation, and the distance they spread are reduced by the presence of an object in front of the mouth. You may be able to perform a simple experiment yourself to convince yourself of this fact by exhaling smoke (if you smoke) or take note of your breath when you step outside on a frigid morning (may be a bit more difficult of late). You may also notice if you hold your hand in front of your mouth when exhaling that it gets slightly moist; this is respiratory droplets condensing on your hand, just as it would if you were to wear a mask. Better there than in the air where someone else can breath them in.

And yes, we've had pandemics before. But this appears to be a bit different than the flu or SARS in that there are large proportions of asymptomatic individuals. For example, with SARS, when you are infected and able to spread the disease, you are also highly symptomatic, so you know your sick and are likely to stay home (and other's can tell you are sick). With COVID-19, many people are infected but are asymptomatic (or mildly so), and so may unwittingly spread the disease. Hence the facemask requirement, which strike me as a fairly minor inconvenience considering the potential benefit.

Matt
Sat, 07/11/2020 - 5:41pm

You seem an intelligent person, so what if there is no vaccine coming or at least one with long term effectiveness. We just end up trying to guess what version of the virus will be floating around in 6 months. This is actually a very possible outcome. Do have a forever mask law? Permanently closed schools? Permanent internment camps for "at risk" people? Sounds like a futile battle with evolution.

JWK
Sun, 07/12/2020 - 3:07pm

Good question...I think anyone would be lying if they said they knew the answer to this. My guess is that things would then play out as they've done before modern medicine, with the most recent example being the 1918 flu pandemic. Namely, we wait for herd immunity or for the virus to mutate and become less virulent/deadly and then learn to live with yearly variations it like we do with the flu. Notably, the flu today is much less deadly than the 1918 Spanish flu (which killed a disproportionate number of middle aged people compared to the old and young; my understanding this was due to an overzealous immune response to the virus for some reason). As you alluded to, the 'natural' course of things has a way of dealing with these issues, but it's quite brutal (Nature is, indeed, a cruel mistress), selecting for people that are less afflicted by the disease.

If there is no medical solution in the offing, then we'll all need to make calculations of risk with respect to what activities we engage in like we already do for so many other activities. I doubt internment camps, but as a society we'll just have to have a discussion about what risks and limitations we're willing to accept; what impact on the economy etc. I, for one, don't see the big deal with masks considering the benefit, a little annoying at first perhaps, but I hardly notice it after a bit just like other types of clothing. I try to see other perspectives, but I have a hard time fully understanding the view that wearing a mask is an infringement on my rights. It's a discussion worth having, but the potential benefits seem to vastly outweigh the minor annoyance.

Optimist
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 1:17pm

Matt, those are valid concerns if you want another three year long battle like the Spanish Flu that killed 50 million people. Maybe something as simple as wearing masks and following the science can allow us to move forward with schools and the economy.

Elizabeth Brown
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 9:43pm

Medical journals are factual literature written by yes, experts . I assume by statistics and your factless misinformation
it is quite easy to infer you do not hold a medical degree and are not a legal professional either. I'm both and your bombastic layperson's
opinions are harmful.

Sarah N
Sat, 07/11/2020 - 1:03pm

The link you provided is to an opinion letter, not a research article. It was also published April 1, 2020. We have since learned a lot about the transmission dynamics of Covid-19 and the role face masks play in reducing that transmission, although it's still too early to make any definitive statements about the impact of universal face-mask use among the public outside of healthcare settings. Kudos on searching for a reputable source, but you have to pay attention to the details and context. The truth is, we can't quantify the degree to which universal face mask use prevents transmission yet. That will take more time and more data.

Michigan man
Sun, 07/12/2020 - 10:39am

Who said that source is reputable? That’s a huge part of the problem. Who’s compiling said data? More corrupt 3 letter organizations with a sickeningly obvious agenda? Fauci? Ha! More so called experts because they have the 2 almighty letters, d and r, before their name?

Genius
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 1:24pm

I can only respond to your post with four letter words, "crap" probably being the only one acceptable in the forum. Fauci's credentials, education and experience spans decades. So your views on his qualifications fall flat. What are your credentials? Why not post with your real name? Fauci addresses the country directly and takes all the hits with intelligence, grace, and dignity.

middle of the mit
Sun, 07/12/2020 - 4:33pm

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/surgeon-general-adams-trying-correct-...

Adams said the administration’s shift to encouraging the public to comply with mask wearing requirements is due to more knowledge on how the novel coronavirus spreads.

“Everything we knew about coronaviruses before that point told us that people were not likely to spread when they were asymptomatic,” Adams said. “So the science at the time suggested that there was not a high degree of asymptomatic spread. We learned more.

“That was a part of it, but the primary reason was because that’s what the science said,” Adams said. “And I want the American people to understand: we follow the science and when we learn more, our recommendations change. But it’s hard when people are continuing to talk about things from three, four months ago.”

“It will help slow asymptomatic spread,” Adams said. “It will help with us reopen churches and schools and have prom next year and have football in the fall.”

Mike
Thu, 07/09/2020 - 10:33pm

The GOP needs to back off the Governor and let her do her job. By pressuring the Governor to open things up too soon, they have caused the infection rate to shoot up again all over the state. The GOP have been wrong every step of the way and need to sit this one out !

Greg
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 9:12pm

She doesn't care about the GOP, anymore than she cares about wrecking businesses. If you don't want your kids to go to school? Stay home. This is all politics, but most people don't get that.

Lincoln Projects
Sat, 07/11/2020 - 6:58am

It's not her role to care about the GOP. Her role is to care about the people of Michigan. The GOP is against wearing masks. So they are wrecking business. Kids will stay home, for sure, because the GOP has acted recklessly from the top down, but have no fear. We will remember them all come November and for years to come.

Learn their names; remember their actions; and never ever trust them again!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vZp3FAQZvU

KJMC
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 9:03am

She really needs to make masks indoors - except in your own house and car - mandatory, and enforce that. Lots of people trying to do their part doesn't work when the person who's spreading it is refusing to wear a mask and distance from people. The masks we're all wearing just help protect others from you. They're only marginally effective at that, so we need both the masks and the distancing to reduce the spread. But half of conservatives are in open rebellion about anything to do with this virus, so we need enforcement.

Unfortunately, the police are also largely conservatives, and they'd probably refuse to enforce it.

Anonymous
Sat, 07/11/2020 - 7:24am

Done. Now the police need to issue some fines. Start with businesses that let people in without masks because people wearing masks enter expecting a safe shopping environment. The businesses that allow people to shop with no mask rules should be shut down immediately. They are like nothing more than drug dealers. This isn't a joke.

Jim
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 9:21am

Scientists should determine how to proceed with opening schools !
Politics should not !

George Hagenauer
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 9:35am

What is interesting about the Trump quote and the tying of school funding to children actually in classrooms is it ignores the part of the right wing school reform movement that is for homeschooling and online education. More seriously it also ignores the fact that there are at risk children and parents (and grandparents) who really are going to need home based education to be safe. And home based education for some increases social distancing at schools for those attending.

Matt G
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 11:43am

There are private schools whose owners won't be making money if DeVos doesn't try to force governors to allow in person education.

It's that simple. They don't care about safety, just cash and power.

Hate hypocrites
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 1:30pm

I thought Republicans were for "school choice" "one size doesn't fit all" "local control". Now they say all schools must open across the country or fear the wrath of the dictator. hypocrites

Jim Sutton
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 2:46pm

Interesting, George, and thanks for not being too __________ to have a name.

Oldmichigander
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 10:01am

Time to start fining businesses that do not require masks to get service. No shoes, no shirts, no masks, NO SERVICE. Probably most older readers remember the no shoes no shirt, no service.

Common Sense Gr...
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 10:16am

Let’s just state the obvious. Children do not spread this particular virus. Our Governor continues to put the elderly people in Nursing Homes at risk despite overwhelming evidence that they are the most vulnerable. She threatens to keep children from school despite overwhelming evidence that they are suffering mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically. Her “Science “ is flawed and is never shown to the public despite numerous requests. She needs to keep the truly vulnerable residents safe and stop her ridiculous Panic and Fear mongering.

Matt G
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 11:49am

Yeah those Christian summer camps in Georgia...no spread among children there. Nope none at all.

Anonymous
Sat, 07/11/2020 - 7:36pm

How many of these children even had symptoms? Better question, how many viruses have humans actually effectively stopped spreading in the past? Why do you think we will be able to stop the coronavirus, even with a vaccine?

Anonymous
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 1:32pm

Yawn

LMAO
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 12:02pm

What is the magic age when people spread the virus?

Reality check
Tue, 07/14/2020 - 12:37pm

Birth.

Captain Obvious
Sun, 07/12/2020 - 12:48pm

Yeah how about the vulnerable grandparents that are raising a lot of those children? Can you just reread your comment and let that sink in for a minute.

heather beeman
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 10:44am

how hypocritical is Gretchen Whitmer. She is trying to force people to wear masks but every time you see her everyone around her has on a mask but she never has a mask on. Whitmer needs to get a clue. It is the flu and people have a right to make their own choices. She is treating Michigan citizens like she is our owner and we have to do what she says but she doesn't have to adhere to her own stupid rules. What makes her any better than the rest of us

Anonymous
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 1:47pm

You feel like the governor owns you? You feel oppressed? You think the governor's a hypocrite? She wears a mask unless addressing audiences. How about all the Tea Partiers taking millions in PPP and the stimulus?

LMAO
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 3:29pm

Is this what you mean?
These groups normally oppose government spending, but took bailout
https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/07/09/coronavirus-bailouts-real...
BTW Why did so many churches, Catholic, Evangelical, get multi-million dollar gifts from the tax payers? Doesn't that violate the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution????? Not sure if we paid mosques too. I guess the Vatican could use the money for the abuse claims and people like Joel Osteen can buy more private jets?

There probably weren't enough small businesses that needed the money.

Blessed day
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 2:24pm

Heather,
Here are a couple exceptions to the governor's order, when you:
Are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication (not all hearing impaired people know sign language; some read lips);
or
Are giving a speech for broadcast or an audience.

Oldmichigander
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 10:50am

Lots of misinformed older adults... Of course the underlying arguments often require more than a high school education to truly appreciate them.

Jim Sutton
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 11:54am

Michigan's plan to open schools is proceeding and might well be a model for the country. They aren't doing this in response to Trump's political desperation that targets kids. And the final form it takes, and how/when they proceed will be a well informed decision, by people with whom you can trust your kids. (But still wishing Michigan would clean up it's prison COVID).

Please
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 1:49pm

It's all smoke and mirrors. The schools will not open this year.

No kidding
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 1:38pm

They're already cancelling high school football practice because some kids may have been exposed. Imagine trying to run schools under those conditions when kids are forced to be inside buildings trying to get into lockers shoulder to shoulder, rather than playing outside on a field.

MrLogical
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 4:45pm

We Do Not Consent
June 26, 2020

The below is the Op-Ed that was accepted to USAToday on June 24. They deleted key phrases/paragraphs for their print paper and then they refused to print it at all online.

It is clear to me as a physician-lawyer that the disinformation about both Covid-19 and the Constitution has caused us to turn a medical issue into a legal crisis.

The scientific usefulness of a mask has been so aggressively overstated, and the foundational importance of the Constitution has been so aggressively understated, that we

have normalized people screaming obscenities at each other while hiking.

The Covid virus was supposed to be contained in the kind of lab where people wear astronaut suits and go through triple sealed doors. It is a con of massive proportion to assert that now, having escaped those environs, a bandana will magically do the trick.

After all, size matters.

The pore size of cloth face coverings range from ~ 20-100 microns. The Covid virus is 200-1000x smaller than that, at 0.1 microns. Putting up a chain link fence will not keep out a mosquito. Even the most esteemed medical journals admit their purpose is to calm anxiety. “Expanded masking protocols’ greatest contribution may be to reduce the transmission of anxiety …”

Of course, by knowledge or common sense observation, most Americans already know that masking everyone is superstition. But unlike privately carrying a lucky charm, mandating facial coverings requires the consent of the governed.

Many cultures mandate clothing that appears totally irrational to outsiders. Never have those cultures pretended that there is a scientific basis for their clothing requirement. Their leaders rule, and their citizens accept, that their choice of clothing is due to religious or cultural preference.

Not wearing a mask is not mere “personal choice” like deciding between a head covering or a t-shirt. It is a flashpoint for being a free human being who has consented to be governed but has not consented to be ruled. We do not consent to a masked America, because that is a fundamental change in American society, culture, norms, and rights.

People who are apathetic toward their own liberty cannot eliminate Constitutional rights for those who are not. This is not the first (or last) time that people who believe in superstition are screaming the loudest. The Constitution exists precisely to protect all people during times of mass hysteria.

The mask has become the most visible symbol of #socialconditioning to Americans determined to preserve individual freedom. Thus far most Americans have continued to give their consent to be governed. But you are trying our patience.

Kevin Grand
Sat, 07/11/2020 - 9:41am

Who wrote this?

I know
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 1:48pm

Kayleigh McEnany, KellyAnne Conway, Jeanine Pirro, Tucker Carlson?

JWK
Sat, 07/11/2020 - 1:46pm

Not sure who wrote this, but the argument is not very strong. They state that the size of a cloth face covering is 20-100 microns and the coronavirus is 0.1 microns and then conclude that a 'chain link fence will not keep out a mosquito'. But the virus doesn't waft about on its own, its attached to respiratory droplets. So the question is "what is the size of the respiratory droplet relative to the size of the cloth face covering"? Well, we don't need to speculate based on metaphors, it's been studied (e.g. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.0c03252).

The answer, well the more layers the better! A single layer cotton mask isn't all that effective, but it does depend on the thread count. So get a nice high thread count and layer it up.

Jeremy
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 2:01pm

Thanks, that makes sense, even to someone like me who doesn't understand much of this. Well put, so it's more like trying to hit a dirty tennis ball through a chain-link fence, not very likely. The fence stops the ball and very little dirt spreads, vastly different than hitting the ball without a fence.

middle of the mit
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 6:39pm

I find this all funny. Why? Because for years I have heard conservatives say that kids spend too much time at school.

"They are there all day, then they stay after school for hours everyday, why?"

And now? They can't wait to get the kids in a petri dish, so much so that this virus that " isn't anything more than the cold or the flu" is less transmissible by the very same vectors that are the prime spreaders of the cold and flu?

Ha ha ha! If I don't laugh about this, I will cry. So.......Ha ha ha ha!!

First conservatives told us that the young weren't spreaders or contagions or even susceptible....then they were proved wrong.

Now they are saying the same thing about the young'ns. How many times does it take for a conservative to be wrong before they acknowledge it?

You would be better off thinking you could get to the center of tootsie pop with three licks and crunch!

Levi
Sat, 07/11/2020 - 11:38am

Mr. Mit,
What are you talking about? Children and people under ~60 who don't have serious pre-existing health conditions are at a near zero risk of death from coronavirus. The numbers illustrate this well.
So what in the world are you talking about?
You're all over the place, I can't even figure out if you have an opinion.

middle of the mit
Sat, 07/11/2020 - 11:19pm

Levi,

Despite mounting evidence that yes, it does effect younger adults and children, that isn't what the jist of my post was.

[[[that this virus that " isn't anything more than the cold or the flu" is less transmissible by the very same vectors that are the prime spreaders of the cold and flu?]]]

You don't have to be susceptible to transmit something.

Be Gone!
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 2:24pm

That's conspiracy theory, not a video produced by the CDC. Why is Trump wearing a mask now?

Curious
Sat, 07/11/2020 - 8:27pm

At the peak we were seeing about 1,600 cases of COVID a day, concentrated in SE Michigan, causing a crisis. Now we are averaging about 400/day across the state. The curve has been stomped. That is no longer a crisis.
At what point do we return to normal?
As far as schools opening, I am quite certain that more MI children have drowned in the great lakes in the last two months than have died from COVID.

Anonymous
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 2:21pm

At peak, we were all in isolation.

Jen
Sun, 07/12/2020 - 9:13am

Please do. Your ridiculous plan to social distance, mandatory temp checks and to force masks on children in public schools are the reasons why my kids aren't attending school in the fall and aren't allowed to play football this year. We'll home school so we can continue to work without your multiple quarantines of healthy people. We don't get government handouts. We take care of ourselves and we aren't about to take government handouts because you, as our dictator, decide we need to "stay safe."

LOL
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 2:47pm

If you drive on public roads, you take government handouts. Who do you think you are kidding?

UCS Middle Scho...
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 12:59am

Submit a request with ACLJ.com for legal help to request your childs school funding from Michigan Education so you as a parent can use the money for alternative education if school isnt open full time. Remote learning from UCS failed when schools were shut down. As a parent, I will need to return to work in September so should the schools. My only option is to quit and find another job why do teachers feel they dont need to return to work? Quit, reduce salaries staying home teaching r replace teachers that refuse to return with college graduates.
My child needs interaction at school. Other countries are opening schools. I dont agree with the additional $800 money per student or $500 for teachers. The money saved from schools buildings and buses not running is a cost savings. Im pissed the school board cancelled July meetings. Who is monitoring the use of the additional funds? Who is monitoring the quality of class teachings?

Elizabeth Brown
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 9:53pm

So disgusting and sad, outside of MI failing students academically unlike other states.
MI democrat never has the best interest of children in practice when making decisions. With MI democrats it is always the dangerous basis of "what is best for the workforce (overpaid union) not the kids." Children are safer in school then home, physical abuse is detected and reported among countless other factors kids NEED. Whitmer said before she wanted "An education system like TN". Other states have free college, she could only dream as she is counterproductive & incompentent.

Amy
Fri, 07/17/2020 - 9:50am

yet no mention of the thousands of unmasked, in close proximity, people taking to the streets including our governor for the protests as a reason for the spike?? Just the opening of businesses and such....interesting reporting.

PleaseSpreadCovid19
Mon, 07/27/2020 - 3:30pm

PLEASE: do NOT wear masks, face covering or any type of face shield so Coronmavirus/ Covid-19 will spread more rampantly across all regions within each U.S state.

as every Republican has proclaimed, Covid-19 is a fabricated fear mongering conspiracy to hinder U.S presidential elections in 2020.

And if anyone knmkows of another who has become me severely I'll or died from a sudden onset of respiratory disease, it too is simply part of the election conspiracy.