Republicans consider whether to block Whitmer's health chief

Virus Outbreak Michigan Health Director
Posted at 1:40 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 13:40:16-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican senators critical of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic are weighing whether to reject her appointee to run the state health department, which has issued orders restricting business capacity to limit COVID-19's spread.

Elizabeth Hertel took over the Department of Health and Human Services in January, when Robert Gordon abruptly resigned.

Her appointment stands unless the Senate blocks it by March 23.

Hertel’s nomination is drawing considerably more attention than usual.

About a third of the 20-member Republican caucus oppose Hertel.

But Republicans would need to be in near lockstep, which appears unlikely.

Democrats support her.