As the curve starts to flatten, most Michigan residents support Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic according to a poll by the Detroit News.
MICHIGAN — Despite very visible protests across the country, most Americans are reluctant to return to normalcy too soon and risk another wave of infections from the novel coronavirus called COVID-19. Nowhere is that clearer than in Michigan.
A Detroit News survey found that 57% of Michiganders supported the response to the pandemic by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which has consisted of a flurry of executive orders that prioritized social distancing measures and flattening the curve while addressing economic impacts of preventing the virus’ spread.
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The same survey showed only 37% of Michiganders supported the response of President Donald Trump, who has largely focused on the political and economic ramifications of the pandemic and has been ardently campaigning to end the stay-at-home measures governors across the country, including Whitmer, have issued to combat the disease.
The conflict between the two styles of leadership and Trump’s personal dislike for Whitmer have framed the argument between the two approaches as a battle between the President and Governor. The ‘Gander has reported on several arguments between the leaders ranging from the powers of the President to the merits of absentee voting to Trump’s hesitance to take early action against the coronavirus.
Trump’s supporters have taken to the streets of Lansing, without facemasks and with assault weapons, to protest the stay-at-home order in Michigan, while Whitmer has been largely understanding of Michiganders’ frustrations but angry at their willingness to put themselves and others at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
“I saw someone handing out candy to little kids barehanded,” Whitmer told reporters. “People are flying the Confederate flag, and untold numbers who gassed up on the way here or grabbed a bite on the way home. We know that this rally endangered people. This kind of activity will put more people at risk and, sadly, it could prolong the amount of time we have to be in this posture.”
READ MORE: Whitmer Says Social Distancing Is Working In Michigan, We Just Have To Keep It Up
Michigan has been one of the hardest-hit states during the pandemic, being in the top five states in terms of both infections and deaths attributed to the disease. As of Sunday, Michigan had 2,391 deaths and 31,424 cases, which represents another indication that the curve is beginning to flatten in the state.
“It’s a little like a car that’s reached maximum velocity,” Detroit Regional Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah told the News. “We’re not accelerating any more but we’re still going fast.”
The News survey also found 29% of respondents said they had been furloughed, laid off or unable to work because of the virus while 18% of those still working believe they have or had the virus.