“We will make decisions based on facts, science, and recommendations from experts in health care, business, labor, and education,” the governors promised.
MICHIGAN — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is taking steps to reopen the economy — by joining forces with our neighbors.
Following a plan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced this week, she’s collaborating with a number of Midwestern governors who have set a plan for what needs to happen for their states to lift stay-at-home orders.
Whitmer was joined by Governors. Mike DeWine of Ohio, Tony Evers of Wisconsin, Tim Walz of Minnesota, JB Pritzker of Illinois, Eric Holcomb of Indiana, and Andy Beshear of Kentucky.
Together they plan to help recharge the Midwestern economy.
Meanwhile, Republicans who control the state Senate also unveiled a plan to jump-start Michigan’s economy in five phases, rather than Whitmer’s four. They want her to align her stay-at-home order with federal guidance to reopen businesses whose employees can stay 6 feet apart.
A Look At Whitmer’s Plan
As The ‘Gander reported, Gov. Whitmer outlined four key factors that would demonstrate the ability to ease restrictions while minimizing risks of a second wave of infections from the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Those key factors were again reflected in the announcement from the Midwestern governors.
Those four factors are: a sustained control and reduction of cases of the coronavirus, enhanced ability to test for and trace the virus, capacity for health systems to handle resurgences of the disease and a set of social distancing best practices for workplaces.
“Our number one priority when analyzing when best to reopen our economy is the health and safety of our citizens. We will make decisions based on facts, science, and recommendations from experts in health care, business, labor, and education,” the governors said in a statement.
“Phasing in sectors of our economy will be most effective when we work together as a region. This doesn’t mean our economy will reopen all at once, or that every state will take the same steps at the same time,” the governors wrote. “But close coordination will ensure we get this right. Over time, people will go back to work, restaurants will reopen, and things will go back to normal. We look forward to working together as one region to tackle this challenge together.”
The coordination between the governors will allow states to restore normalcy alongside neighboring states to minimize risk of interstate transmission in the days following an end to stay-at-home order. It also will allow states to coordinate on challenges coming in the days and weeks following the lifting of those orders.
Meanwhile at the White House
The Midwest released its plan Thursday came out at the same time as advice from the White House on procedures for returning states to normal operations, or “reopening” them. In the White House plan published by Politico, states would have to meet certain conditions before advancing to a timetable for reopening.
Those conditions include downward trajectory in both coronavirus and flu-like symptoms, downward trajectory of cases of the coronavirus and the ability of hospitals to treat patients without crisis care.
While the White House plan does not include things the governors do like social distancing policies in the workplace, the phases of reopening include encouraging telecommuting and returning workforce from quarantine in phases.
Why Trump’s Plan Doesn’t Fit Michigan
Trump’s plan, meanwhile, benefits primarily southern and western states with low case count. Those states, the New York Times reports, have the ability to move into phased restoration of normalcy after only two weeks of downward trajectory which would allow those states political cover in lifting their shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders sooner than the Midwestern coalition.
Trump initially intended for the entire United States to resume normalcy as early as May 1, a plan for which Gov. Whitmer thoroughly chastised him as The ‘Gander reported. But he backtracked on that idea and left the decisions of how and when to lift shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders in the hands of governors.
As Business Insider notes, the hands of governors is where the Constitution rested those decisions to begin with.