Michigan Senate backs health director appointed by Whitmer

Virus Outbreak Michigan Health Director
Posted at 1:17 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 13:17:58-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Senate has supported Elizabeth Hertel as state health director, backing a key figure in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican-led chamber endorsed the governor’s appointee 18-16 Tuesday, with Democrats and some GOP senators voting yes.

Hertel took over the state Department of Health and Human Services in January following the abrupt resignation of Robert Gordon and has gradually loosened restrictions designed to curb COVID-19.

Many Republicans opposed Hertel, voicing long-running frustrations that Whitmer used the health department to issue orders after the Michigan Supreme Court struck down a law that underpinned her edicts.

SEE MORE: WATCH: MDHHS director testifies in front of state Senate committee

SEE MORE: Republicans consider whether to block Whitmer's health chief