Whitmer: GOP Blowback In MI Leaves ‘Smaller Set Of Tools’ To Fight COVID Surge

DETROIT, MI - APRIL 06: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer receives a dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine at Ford Field during an event to promote and encourage Michigan residents to get the vaccine on April 6, 2021 in ... DETROIT, MI - APRIL 06: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer receives a dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine at Ford Field during an event to promote and encourage Michigan residents to get the vaccine on April 6, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. As the US reaches a milestone in vaccinations, a surge of new Covid-19 cases has swept through the US with Michigan seeing the highest numbers of new cases. (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 18, 2021 3:33 p.m.
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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Sunday said that the backlash she received from Republicans in her state when she implemented coronavirus restrictions last year informed her opposition to imposing another lockdown, despite the state’s current COVID-19 surge.

During an interview on “Meet the Press,” Whitmer was pressed about her previous remarks vowing to “follow the science” compared to her comments in the past week, arguing that the CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky‘s recommendation for a temporary shut down to remedy the surge is easier said than done due to “the reality here on the ground.”

Whitmer replied that many circumstances have changed compared to 15 months ago, when mask mandates hadn’t been implemented yet, and PPE as well as testing was limited.

The Michigan governor, who was targeted last year by armed protesters that flocked to the state Capitol to protest her COVID-19 restrictions, then noted the blowback she has received from Republicans in her state in explaining her resistance to imposing another lockdown.

“In the waning months I have been sued by my legislature, I have lost in a Republican-controlled Supreme Court, and I don’t have all of the exact same tools,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer maintained that Michigan still has “some of the strongest mitigation measures” and that the state is moving fast to get more of its residents vaccinated, before adding that she is working with a “smaller set of tools” to combat its current COVID-19 surge.

Asked whether she feels that her “hands are tied” in terms of her sentiment on having a “smaller set of tools,” Whitmer replied that everyone needs to do their part in fighting COVID-19 by taking mitigation strategies seriously.

Whitmer was asked whether she is still hoping for the Biden administration to distribute more vaccine doses to hard-hit states like hers in light of Michigan’s current COVID-19 surge — a demand that Biden administration officials have resisted by maintaining that their vaccine allocation strategy is based on the populations of states, territories and tribes.

Whitmer deflected by pledging that the distribution of vaccines will be accelerated in the event that there is an increase in supply.

“We are going to see, I think, a moment where supply outweighs demand. And perhaps in parts of the country, that’s already happening,” Whitmer said. “And that’s a concern.”

After stressing the importance of urging the public to get vaccinated, Whitmer maintained her commitment to “following the science.”

“We’re going to keep imploring people to do the right things,” Whitmer said. “We’re going to keep our mitigations up and keep moving vaccines as quickly as we possibly can.”

Watch Whitmer’s remarks below:

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