WXMI — Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of Michigan’s first COVID-19 cases. Governor Gretchen Whitmer knows the somber date doesn’t mark an end to the pandemic her administration has been fighting since that day.
“We’ve come a long way, it’s been a long year, 16,000 Michiganders have lost their lives,” she said, speaking to FOX17 on Tuesday. “I’ve had my moments where I was very concerned, losing sleep over making sure that we were going to get people through this tough time.”
Whitmer recalled learning of the first cases while watching election returns from the governor’s mansion on March 10th, 2020 – the night of Michigan’s primary. The governor said at that time, Michigan had already set up command centers for testing, anticipating the virus to eventually spread to the state.
As of the publishing of this article a day before the anniversary, Michigan was closing in on 600,000 cases.
“We’ve learned a lot, we’ve gotten smarter we have changed policies where we’ve needed to and I think our response has been one of the best in the nation,” said Governor Whitmer.
Three vaccines have also been approved for emergency use in that time, and the governor encouraged everyone to get one when they can so Michigan can get to that all-important herd immunity mark of 70% vaccinated.
“if I could go back in a time machine right now, with all the knowledge we’ve accumulated in the last year, would we do some things differently? Sure, and any leader who doesn’t admit that isn’t being honest or doesn’t understand how much we’ve learned in the last year,” said Governor Whitmer. “I would go back over a year in a time machine and make Michigan the epicenter of N-95 mask manufacturing. Of course we had no idea how important that tool would be.”