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Michigan Republicans criticize Governor Whitmer's lack of COVID-19 response briefings as cases rise

Posted at 5:40 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 18:03:46-04

(WXMI) — It's been 18 days since the state has held an official COVID-19 briefing, and the streak hasn't gone unnoticed by Michigan Republicans and others.

Governor Whitmer has spoken briefly at a number of different vaccine clinic tours, including at the Ford Field mass vaccination site in Detroit Tuesday when she got her first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Her last official press briefing was on March 19.

The regional press secretary for the Republican Governor’s Association, Chris Gustafson, issued the following statement to FOX 17 Tuesday.

“Despite grandstanding for months about ‘following the science’, Gretchen Whitmer is nowhere to be found as Michigan’s COVID outbreak has become the worst in the nation. Whitmer’s focus on the political science has made Michigan the unenviable face of the pandemic while making her the Andrew Cuomo of the Midwest.”

Data from a recent New York Times article shows that the top six metro areas with the greatest number of new COVID cases relative to their populations in the past two weeks are all in Michigan.

The New York City area ranked 7th in the country.

The Michigan Republican Party is now calling for more transparency and for the Governor’s office to work with the legislature on a new response plan.

MI GOP Communications Director Ted Goodman said in an interview, “What we'd like to see from this governor is a plan. First of all they don't even have a plan and common sense solutions to this pandemic as we continue to respond to it, and we're not seeing that right now. So, we would like to see is a transparent government in Lansing that is responsive to the people, and her response to the pandemic is part of a larger issue with this administration, which involves a lack of transparency and responsiveness to the people."

FOX 17 reached out to the Governor’s office Monday, asking about the lack of COVID-19 press briefings and any plans for a briefing in the near future.

The office released the following statement back to us.

“We continue to work closely with our state’s leading health experts to monitor trends in COVID-19 spread throughout the state. Unlike other states like Texas and Florida that have abandoned public health protocols altogether, Michigan continues to have smart health policies in place, such as a mask mandate and capacity limits on large gatherings. We are still very much in this pandemic, but we’ve learned a tremendous amount about how to protect ourselves and our loved ones. That’s why every Michigander has a personal responsibility to do their part by wearing a mask, washing hands, and maintaining social distancing to help us slow the spread of this virus.”

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