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Gov. Whitmer projects COVID-19 will cost state $3 billion this year and $3 to $4 billion in 2021

Whitmer Politico Playbook interview screen shot.JPG
Posted at 11:03 AM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 11:03:17-04

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan may see COVID-19 related expenses of about $3 billion this year and maybe $3 to $4 billion next year, Governor Whitmer said in an interview Monday on Politico’s Playbook page.

She said that this week she would lay out the criteria she is using to assess the risk in relaxing her Stay Home Stay Safe executive orders. “Every time we open up a different sector of the economy, we run the risk of having a spike (of coronavirus cases),” she said.

“We have to look at this as a dial -- not a switch, not on and off -- but like as a dial that we can increase or that we can decrease, if necessary,” she noted.

“We’ve got to watch it closely. We’ve got to have the testing and the tracing, we have to have all that mechanism” before dialing up activity in the state, the governor said.

During the interview, Whitmer indicated that this week might see easing of restrictions in construction and other “outdoor enterprises” and identifying “the lowest-risk areas in which we might engage.”

She acknowledged she had issued the "most aggressive" restrictions in the country but justified them by saying that Michigan is the 10th largest state in population but "for a long time” was the state ranked-third in the number of COVID-19 cases and had the third highest death rate in the country.

“None of us knows precisely how this is going to play out. What we do know is that there’s going to be an incredible amount of need. And the federal government and the state governments are going to have to work together to meet that need.”

“While we’re not unanimous on a lot of things, I hope—and I believe we are all unanimous—that we don’t want to be in a second stay home-stay safe posture.”

Whitmer sidestepped questions about becoming a candidate for vice president, pointing to several other nationally known women as possibilities.

Watch the interview. The hosts introduce Governor Whitmer at 9 minutes into the video.