Did Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer go ‘too far’ with stay-home order? Protesters plan in-vehicle rally Wednesday in Lansing.

LANSING, Mich. — Critics of Michigan's expanded stay-home order are planning an in-vehicle protest to tell the governor they believe she has gone too far.

The Michigan Conservative Coalition and Michigan Freedom Fund asked for protesters to surround the Capitol in their vehicles at noon Wednesday to display flags and signs, make noise and be disruptive about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's "erratic, unilateral orders that threaten Michiganders' economic existence," according to a news release. They warned protesters to come ready for a potentially major traffic jam.

The protest would come several days after Whitmer extended her order through April 30 and took the requirements of staying home a step further, banning crossing the street to visit with neighbors or driving to see friends, among other things.

Is it the decision of the president? Who decides when and how America reopens from its coronavirus shutdown?

“Michigan has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, and we’re still on the upswing," Whitmer said last week. "We must continue to do everything we can to slow the spread and protect our families. Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up."

The extension was expected, and tracks with President Donald Trump's extension with federal social distancing guidelines and actions in other Midwest states including Ohio.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a live update on Thursday, April 9, 2020.

Whitmer's new order has been blasted for its inconsistencies, as it allows the sale of lottery tickets, but not paint or gardening tools, and lets non-Michiganders travel to their Up North cottages, but not Michigan residents.

“Michigan’s typical small business owners obey laws, but they may not notice the progressive agenda being pushed by our radical leftist Governor Whitmer,” Rosanne Ponkowski, president of the Michigan Conservative Coalition, said in a news release. “Governor Whitmer will put you out of business before allowing mere citizens to be responsible for their own behavior. That is madness.”

Mapping coronavirus:Tracking the U.S. outbreak, state by state

More than 13,000 people said they were interested in the protest on Facebook as of Monday morning, and 2,800 had RSVP'd.

The Michigan Conservative Coalition's sentiments are echoed by many people in the Facebook group "Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine," which as of Monday, its fifth day in existence, had nearly 270,000 members.

Kristi Greulich See, of Plymouth, west of Detroit, said she agreed with Whitmer that the first three weeks of the stay-home order were needed to allow government and medical officials to learn about the virus and plan a proper response.

But now, it seems excessive, she said. Her understanding of the science behind the stay-home order was that self-isolating and social distancing would slow the spread of the virus so hospitals weren't flooded with cases, not to eradicate the virus.

"This is going to be coming in waves for awhile, it isn't going away," Greulich See said. "We could lock ourselves in the house and crash the economy for a year and it won't be any different."

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's chief medical executive, however, has warned against loosening restrictions.

"If we loosen up too soon, more people will die, and hospitals will become overwhelmed," Khaldun said at a Thursday news conference with Whitmer.

Survey says:Americans say the economy is getting worse in much larger numbers than weeks ago

Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, said groups like the Michigan Conservative Coalition and Michigan Freedom Fund have one goal: To attack Whitmer any way they can.

"While hundreds of Michiganders die every day because of COVID-19 and essential workers are doing their best to keep our communities healthy and functioning, these selfish and out-of-touch fringe groups are throwing a temper tantrum at the expense of public safety and health," Scott said in a news release.

Several legislators, including U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich., joined the critics in opposing Whitmer's order. He asked her to "immediately reassess" in a series of tweets Saturday.

"As a federal official, I do my best to stay out of state politics," tweeted Amash, an independent from Cascade Charter Township whose 3rd Congressional District includes Ionia County. "But I have a constitutional duty to ensure states don’t trample on the rights of the people. @GovWhitmer’s latest order goes too far and will erode confidence in her leadership. She should immediately reassess it."

Contact reporter Kara Berg at 517-377-1113 or kberg@lsj.com. Follow her on Twitter @karaberg95.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/04/13/coronavirus-michigan-protest-gretchen-whitmer-lansing/2986535001/

News Related


Trump’s ‘mission accomplished’ moment is premature and deadly. We have not defeated COVID.

Desperate for crowds and adoration, Trump has put his most fervent supporters at risk of getting a deadly disease. Future historians will be astonished. Read more »

NFLPA president JC Tretter says NFL is putting season, players at risk with its coronavirus approach

NFL Players Association president JC Tretter said Tuesday the NFL is putting the 2020 season at risk with its coronavirus approach, calling on the league to better “prioritize player safety.” “Like many other... Read more »

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he tested positive for the coronavirus

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and... Read more »

Venice Film Festival forges ahead amid COVID-19 pandemic with reduced lineup

The show will go on for the Venice Film Festival in September, but with a few modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said Tuesday that they are pushing forward with plans for... Read more »

Amtrak offers buy-one, get-one promotion on its sleeper trains amid COVID-19 — with a catch

Amtrak wants you to have sweet dreams the next time you travel — so much so that it’s sweetening the deal on its sleeper “roomettes.” The rail service is offering a buy-one-get-one-free discount... Read more »

Florida teen treated with hydroxychloroquine at home before dying of COVID-19, report says

FORT MEYERS, Fla. – The family of a 17-year-old Florida girl who died last month from COVID-19 treated her symptoms at home for nearly a week before taking her to a hospital, a... Read more »

Mookie Betts worried MLB coronavirus testing woes could prevent him from ever playing for Dodgers

During nearly four months away from the game, Mookie Betts said he “stayed away from baseball to keep myself sane.” It’s not hard to understand why. The 2018 American League Most Valuable Player... Read more »

Tom Hanks doesn’t get ‘how common sense has somehow been put into question’ with coronavirus

Read more »

Can Gov. DeSantis force Florida schools to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic? Some school leaders seem doubtful.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As concern about the state order spread online, some school leaders said: Not so fast. As Florida educators puzzle over how to start the new academic year, Gov. Ron... Read more »

Texas surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases after 4th of July holiday weekend

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas reached 200,000 total COVID-19 cases Monday, just 17 days after crossing the 100,000 threshold, a figure that took the state nearly four months to hit. The grim milestone came... Read more »