(The Center Square)
Three years after COVID hit Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer now admits that many of her early lockdown rules, in retrospect, “didn’t make much sense.”
“We had to make decisions that, in retrospect, don’t make a lot of sense,” Whitmer said in an interview with CNN. clip posted by the Twitter account @Breaking911.
When COVID hit, Whitmer shut down much of the state’s economy. Its rules determined which careers were “essential” and ordered “non-essential” workers to stay home.
Whitmer banned over 50,000 square foot stores selling paint and craft supplies, as well as advertisement for “non-essential” goods. Even operate a motorboat could lead to criminal prosecution, just like traveling to a secondary residence. His lockdown has been the longest and strictest in the Midwest.
Whitmer explained in the interview:
“We didn’t want people to, you know, all gather around gardening supplies…It was February in Michigan, nobody was planting anyway…”
“Some of these policies, I look back and think: maybe that was a little bit more than we needed to do.”
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These are just some of the nearly 200 emergency orders issued by Whitmer in less than a year, mostly related to COVID, that have left businesses scrambling to comply.
Related: Taxpayers pay $44,117 for Whitmer’s trip to Davos
In one instance, a Walmart called baby carriers a prohibited purchase, misunderstanding Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-42.
Former U.S. Representative Peter Meijer said Whitmer “enlightened” the Michiganders.
“The gas lighting here is simply breathtaking”, Meijer tweeted. “The (multiple) orders were in late March/early April (NOT February) and were so unclear that some stores put tape around entire aisles to avoid risking non-compliance. A little humility would be nice.
Whitmer’s policies led to raids on gyms and strip clubs, while small businesses such as restaurants, bowling alleys, etc. were forced to close or operate under heavy restrictions.
More than 2,500 Detroiters were ticketed for violating Whitmer’s emergency rules by the Detroit Police Department from April 14 to May 18. The fines were later waived.
Gary Marshall, owner of FitStop24 in Niles and Dowagiac, reopened three months before Whitmer allowed gyms to open. He was charged with 30 misdemeanors and fined $18,000 before all charges were later dropped.
Related: Governor Whitmer proposes $79 billion budget for fiscal year 2024
The Michigan Supreme Court stripped Whitmer of her emergency powers in October 2020.
In May 2021, Whitmer was caught rupture its own COVID rules. A May 15 order required gatherings at dining establishments to have no more than six people at the table.
She attended a meal at an East Lansing bar with 13 people, for which she apologized.
Later in the interview, Whitmer told CNN reporter Chris Wallace that she had no plans to seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2024.
Syndicated with permission from The central square.