Whitmer to Michigan: Stay home and shut up
WASHINGTON -- When historians look back at America's handling of the coronavirus outbreak, they likely will cite Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as the best example of how not to contain a pandemic in your state.
The Democratic governor has turned her state into the heart of COVID-19 resistance. On Wednesday, protesters shut down the roads in Lansing, the state's capital, in a protest dubbed "Operation Gridlock."
Whitmer responded to the outrage of her constituents thusly: "I know that people are angry and that's OK, and if you want to take it out and send it my way, if it makes you feel better, that's fine. I support your right to free speech, and I respect your opinions. I just urge you, don't put yourself at risk and don't put others at risk either. I was really disappointed to see people congregating, not wearing masks. I saw someone handing out candy to little kids bare-handed."
She did everything but brand her critics "barbarians at the gate" -- unwashed hordes who stand against the good people who stay home and don't make waves -- when her provocative attitude and policies truly were a problem.
Consider the name of her stay-at-home orders: "Temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life."
Her order should have prohibited activities that spread the virus -- that's what public safety requires. Instead, Whitmer took her moment of power to tell her own constituents that they should not do anything that possibly could make their confinement more pleasant or productive.
An example: "Private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household are prohibited." So if you're a healthy single person, you can't sit down with a neighbor. It doesn't matter if you practice social distancing. You are not supposed to exercise your judgment. Your purpose is to obey.
Large retailers can't sell paint or plants. Gardening centers in large stores are illegal.
If residents have a second home, they are not allowed to go to it.
Wolverines can kayak but not use a motorboat. Somehow that is supposed to save lives.