Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has extended the state of emergency and disaster declaration without support from the Republican-led state legislature.
“Today I signed new emergency and disaster declarations using independent sources of statutory authority to make sure our health care workers and first responders have the tools they need to save lives and protect Michiganders,” Whitmer stated in a release.
Executive Order 2020-67 extends the state of emergency declaration for Michigan through midnight on May 28. Executive Order 2020-68 extends the Michigan disaster declaration with the same parameters. Further extensions to these orders will be evaluated prior to their expiration date.
These two orders are separate from the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order that went into effect March 24. On that date it was set for “at least the next three weeks.” It has since been extended through May 15, with an ease up on some restrictions.
Acknowledging that the spread of COVID-19 has shown signs of regression, a release from the governor states that the coronavirus “remains aggressive and persistent.”
“COVID-19 is an enemy that has taken the lives of more Michiganders than we lost during the Vietnam War,” Whitmer stated. “While some members of the legislature might believe this crisis is over, common sense and all of the scientific data tells us we’re not out of the woods yet. By refusing to extend the emergency and disaster declaration, Republican lawmakers are putting their heads in the sand and putting more lives and livelihoods at risk. I’m not going to let that happen.”
Currently about 24% of the Michigan workforce have made unemployment claims. These rates are the highest they have been since the Great Depression. According to the release, economists at the University of Michigan project that the U.S. economy will diminish by 7% in the second quarter alone. Because of this, “many families in Michigan will struggle to pay their bills or even put food on the table.”