After DeVos family claim, Gov. Whitmer says Amway 'stepped up' with protective equipment

Posted at 9:32 PM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-19 19:15:34-04

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said today that Amway has "really stepped up" to help fight the coronavirus — a day after she claimed the DeVos family is behind a "demonstration" happening at the capitol.

"In the past month, we’ve seen Michigan businesses and their employees step up to protect their communities from the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said.

“Amway has really stepped up to help keep Kent County families and health care workers safe during this time. I’m eager to work with them and every other business that wants to contribute their time and machinery to helping us fight this virus.

"This is an all-hands-on-deck moment for our state, and we're working with anyone and everyone to get the personal protective equipment our front-line health care workers need to stay safe and save lives.”

Employees of Ada-based Amway have distributed nearly 28,000 units of hand sanitizer to hospitals, clinics, senior homes and more as of April 9, according to the governor's office today.

Amway has "worked hard" to secure disinfectant wipes for hospitals and hygiene kits for homeless people in Kent County.

The company is also flying in "a steady stream" of N95 masks to Michigan over the next few weeks.


The statement on Amway's giving by Gov. Whitmer comes one day after she called out the DeVos family in her statewide coronavirus update on April 13.

She claimed the family is tied to a rally at the state capitol on April 15 where "people stay in their cars."

Operation Gridlock, a "vehicle rally," is being hosted at noon tomorrow in Lansing by the Michigan Conservative Coalition and Michigan Freedom Fund, according to the event's Facebook page.

“I also would just say, I think it is this group is funded in large part by the DeVos family," Whitmer said.

"And I think it’s really inappropriate for a sitting member of the United States president’s cabinet to be waging political attacks on any governor, but obviously, on me here at home.

"I think that they should disavow it and encourage people to stay home and be safe.”

Amway was co-founded by the late Rich DeVos, and several DeVos family members are on the private company's board, including Dick DeVos, the husband of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

A DeVos family spokesperson told FOX 17 yesterday the family "hasn’t funded this protest nor has it offered prior support to the organizing entity."