Michigan Governor Threatens Protesters with Extended Stay-at-Home Order


Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday night that the actions of protesters outside of the state capitol building might cause her to extend the stay-at-home orders for the state of Michigan.

“I think the thing that I’m concerned most about — and I think my other fellow governors are as well — is a resurgence,” the Democratic governor told MSNBC.

She pointed to the protest on Wednesday, which she labeled a “political rally,” where people were gathered together but not wearing masks.

“You know that that’s precisely what makes this kind of disease drag out and expose more people. People came and converged together in Lansing and then they went out back to their homes across the state of Michigan. The odds are very high that they are spreading COVID-19 along with it,” Whitmer said.

“And so it’s that kind of irresponsible action that puts us in this situation where we might have to actually think about extending stay-at-home orders, which is supposedly what they were protesting.”

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Thousands of protesters gathered in Lansing on Wednesday to oppose the extended stay-at-home order Whitmer announced last week.

The protest, called “Operation Gridlock,” was organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition and the Michigan Freedom Fund.

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Although the Facebook event told people to stay in their cars and protest with signs, many people gathered on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol building.

“I came out here to support the Michigan businesses and stand up for the rights of Michiganders,” protester Joseph Dickson told WOOD-TV.

“We believe the governor has overreached and overstepped her rights with our freedoms.”

Protesters say that the governor’s mandates are excessive.

“People are basically being told what they can and can’t buy at stores,” Matt Seely with the Michigan Conservative Coalition told WOOD earlier this week.

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“Nothing makes sense. You can buy a bottle of liquor, but you can’t buy a gallon of paint.”

In a Friday appearance on “Good Morning America,” Whitmer defended her decisions, saying it’s better to be “six feet apart right now than six feet under.”

“If it makes people feel better to take their frustrations out on me, that’s fine. All I ask is let’s not get overly political here, let’s focus on the public health,” she said.

As of Friday morning, there were 28,301 cases of COVID-19 in Michigan, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith