LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she won't seek new face mask mandates following updated CDC guidance issued this week.
The Centers for Disease Control said Tuesday that people who live in places with substantial and high community spread should return to wearing masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. They also endorsed face coverings for all teachers, staff, students and visitors this school year, after saying earlier this month those inoculated did not need to wear one in the classroom.
FOX 17 sat down with Governor Whitmer on Wednesday morning to get her reaction following their updated guidance.
“I don't anticipate mandates, but I do anticipate continued guidance,” the governor responded.
“We're learning more about this virus every single day, and I would anticipate that guidance will continue to get smarter and more pointed as well.”
She has been pushing to get at least 70 percent of eligible Michiganders to receive at least one shot of the vaccine.
“We are [at] over 63 percent of our population vaccinated at this juncture... which is really good... Compare us to a lot of states in the South, and we are almost double what many of them are," the governor said.
"But, we want to get to north of 70 percent.”
That is why her administration launched the "MI Shot to Win" campaign, where vaccinated residents can enter a lottery for a chance to win prizes that range from $50,000 to $2,000,000.
“We have seen some people come in and get vaccinated who were not planning to do that until they became aware of this opportunity," she said about the lotto campaign.
The governor's ability to issue certain executive orders during emergencies was eliminated back in October 2020 when the state supreme court said she was improperly drawing authority from a 1945 law. Now, a group called Unlock Michigan is attempting to further curb the state government's ability to issue orders by questioning a 1978 public health law that currently gives the Department of Health and Human Services the ability to issue public health mandates.
"It certainly is concerning to me... not because I think we'll have another global pandemic while I'm in office but because at some point, whether it's 20 years from now, or 100 years from now, we will have a situation that demands a chief executive moves swiftly to save people's lives,” the governor said Wednesday.
“These are not tools that I ever anticipate needing to use again during my political lifetime, but I want to make sure that they're there for a governor so they can keep me and my family safe.”