Speaking to MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes on Thursday, Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan tried to reinforce lockdowns — but finally acknowledged the COVID-19 virus has despite those same lockdowns “come raging back.”
“Well, we know we are seeing a resurgence of COVID all across our state and I think some of it is because we as a nation did not rally to beat this virus,” Whitmer said. “We have turned on one another and this virus has taken an incredible toll on us.”
“We in Michigan still have smart policies in place,” the governor continued. “I don’t currently have all the same powers I did a year ago. But we do still have a mask mandate. We do still have our capacity requirements. And we’ve got some of the strongest protocols in the country, and yet, this virus has come raging back.”
“We have some of the strongest protocols in the country and yet this virus has come raging back.” Gretchen Whitmer… Wait, so all of this stuff is in place (masks, restrictions) and yet it’s not working?! WOW ! pic.twitter.com/JVhcCi1t0L
— Eddie Scarry (@eScarry) April 16, 2021
Seemingly, Whitmer’s goal was to communicate that the government’s efforts to “slow the spread” by having more restrictions was aided by lower transmission. But, in fact, Whitmer rightfully acknowledged at the end of her monologue that her efforts to lock down Michigan have had no significant impact on deterring against the virus. This is in line with a good deal of scientific research that finds lockdowns do not stop contagious diseases and in fact may prolong them while also inflicting massive additional harms.
Michigan, which has notoriously had some of the strictest lockdowns in the nation, remains a state with high COVID rates. Even with 24 percent of residents vaccinated, and 36 percent of residents receiving at least one dose, the seven-day moving average sits at 7,863 cases — as of April 13. This is a 39 percent increase in the last 14 days.
In addition, fatality rates are up 87 percent in the last 14 days, while tests are up 27 percent. As of today, Michigan ranks third in the nation for COVID-19 test positivity rates, at 16.1 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“From the very beginning of COVID in Michigan, we were obedient to the initial lockdowns to ‘flatten the curve.'” said Michigan state Rep. Matt Maddock. “We flattened the curve. Many people became suspicious as more states opened up but we didn’t and Whitmer continued lockdowns but wouldn’t show us why. Now she’s telling us we failed only after thousands died in her nursing homes and we lost like 35,000 businesses. We honestly don’t know what to expect from her political science.'”
“Here we are, where all the other states are not only completely opened up, but they don’t even have a mask mandate, and they’re thriving because of their policies,” Matt Seely of the Michigan Conservative Coalition told The Federalist. “It would be nice for her to acknowledge that she’s completely dropped the ball, instead of constantly trying to come up with some statistical manipulation.”
Other states with strict lockdowns have also experienced high transmission rates. California, run by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, has the highest number of fatalities in the nation, at 60,547 as of April 14, despite strict lockdowns.
This week, it was reported that cases across the nation are up 48 percent. Democratic-run New Jersey leads the nation in death rates per 100,000, at 281, followed by also Democratic strongholds New York at 263 per capita, Massachusetts at 253 per capita, and Rhode Island at 249 per capita. This week, New York Attorney General Letitia James was urged by Voices for Seniors to begin a criminal probe into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s actions to send COVID-positive seniors back to nursing homes.
“The lockdowns are not working,” Seely noted.