Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has received backlash from politicians and citizens alike after she extended and added to the “Stay Home, Stay Safe order” that requires Michigan residents to stay at home.
Whitmer extended the order to the end of April. In addition to banning “nonessential” businesses and asking residents to stay at home, the new order also places restrictions on stores, blocks the sale of certain items and prohibits travel between two residences in the state.
The order restricts stores that are more than 50,000 square feet from selling items related to carpet or flooring, furniture and paint, as well as garden centers. It also bans travels between two Michigan residences except for activities that are considered essential, such as caring for a family member or to fulfill custody agreements.
The order was met with harsh criticism.
This is STUPID. What embarrassing leadership. https://t.co/1mmiCsdAFN
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) April 11, 2020
Gardening happens to be great solitary activity to promote social distancing. But Whitmer for VP! https://t.co/jXa7i05Mvk
— Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) April 11, 2020
Ok, I’m trying to be a positive human, but this is insane. @GovWhitmer banned travel between 2 homes – THAT YOU PERSONALLY OWN – in Michigan.
I’d love to see that law enforced.
How much you want to bet there’s dozens of legislators defying that ordinance?
— Jason Helmes (@anymanfitness) April 10, 2020
The order also received backlash from a variety of politicians
“We will never eliminate all risk, and we have to allow the people of this state to begin to make their own decisions about the risks presented by this virus,” said state Sen. Tom Barrett (R-24-Charlotte) in a statement on Thursday. “Many businesses could reopen today with very reasonable precautions around hygiene and distancing, and this would allow us to begin the process of returning to normal life. Unfortunately, the governor has even refused to allow single-operator lawn care services to be performed under this far-reaching order.”
Rep. Justin Amash (I-3) also weighed in, saying that Whitmer’s newest order “goes too far and will erode confidence in her leadership” in a Twitter thread on Saturday.
People will not long tolerate extraordinary restrictions on liberty that contribute so little to safety. Eventually, even basic measures, such as social distancing, will be ignored as people grow restless.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) April 11, 2020
Whitmer tweeted a link to a “frequently asked questions” page about the new order on Sunday, saying that her office has “seen misinformation circulating.”
We’ve seen misinformation circulating, so I’d like to be very clear — the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order does not ban the purchasing of car seats for children. You can read this FAQ and more here: https://t.co/NJ9OMtOfvN pic.twitter.com/UpRTMEUudT
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) April 12, 2020
There is at least one rally protesting Whitmer’s newest order, taking place on April 15 and organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition.
As of Monday, there are more than 25,600 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The death toll for the state is 1,602
Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]