News of the Tuscola Dems

HOME DELIVERY PROGRAM NEEDS VOLUNTEERS

Tuscola County Human Development Commission (in Caro) meal home delivery program needs volunteer drivers. If interested in working any days M-Th 9:30 am until around 1 pm, please call HDC at 989-673-4121, press 0 for operator and then ask to speak with the meal delivery program manager. You will need to fill out an application and consent for a background check. It takes a little time to do that, but once approved, they will train you. They give you masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. They need people ASAP.

JUNE 9, 2020 LETTER TO EDITOR

COMMENT ON TUSCOLA COUNTY BOARD COMMISSIONERS' 

RESOLUTION

Comment on the Tuscola County Board of Commissioners’ resolution

by the Executive Board of the Tuscola County Democratic Party

 

On May 14th, the Tuscola County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution, called “Move Tuscola County Forward,” which was severely critical of the executive orders issued by Governor Whitmer to address the COVID-19 pandemic. This resolution was uncalled-for and in view of subsequent events, has become irrelevant.

Here’s why:

  1. The Commissioner’s resolution contended that Governor Whitmer lacked the authority to extend the state of emergency past April 30th without the approval of both houses of the Michigan Legislature.  Not true. The governor is granted emergency powers without legislative approval by two Michigan statutes. The first is Public Act 302 of 1945, called the “Emergency Powers of Governor,” which says that a declaration of emergency is to remain in effect until the governor declares that the emergency no longer exists. The second is Public Act 390 of 1976, called the “Emergency Management Act,” which says that a declaration of emergency may last for only 28 days. After that, the governor may request an extension, subject to legislative approval.

     On March 10th, Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency across the entire state of Michigan due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 1st, she extended the state of emergency to April 30th, and asked the legislators to approve the extension. They did so on April 7th. On April 27th, she extended the state of emergency to May 28th, and asked the legislators to approve this second extension. They refused to do so and filed a lawsuit alleging that the governor lacked the authority to extend the state of emergency.

 

    On May 21st, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens dismissed the legislator’s lawsuit. She ruled that although Public Act 390 of 1976 does require legislative approval for an extension of state of emergency past 28 days, Governor Whitmer still has authority under Public Act 302 of 1945 to keep the state of emergency in effect without legislative approval until she decides the emergency no longer exists.

 

     2. The Commissioner’s resolution contended that Governor Whitmer’s orders placed arbitrary and inconsistent restrictions, without reasonable scientific justification, on individual’s rights to associate, assemble, worship, and travel.

Here are the facts. According to most experts, the COVID-19 virus was passed from an animal (probably a pangolin) to humans in a seafood and poultry market in Wuhan, China, in the late fall of 2019 and thereafter spread quickly across China. The first confirmed case in the United States was a young man who flew back to Washington state from Wuhan on January 15th. The first confirmed cases in Michigan were an Oakland County woman and a Wayne County man who tested positive on March 10th. Governor Whitmer immediately declared a state of emergency.

 

The COVID-19 virus is a respiratory disease that spreads from person to person mostly on droplets, some of them so small they are invisible. It causes mild symptoms and sometimes no symptoms in many people, but it makes some so sick they end up in the hospital and others so sick they end up dead. People with no symptoms can infect others. No one is immune. There is no cure. There is no vaccine. The only way to slow down the spread of this virus and prevent needless deaths is to shut down places where people gather—schools, factories, offices, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, sports arenas, shopping malls—and that means putting a lot of people out of work. Governor Whitmer knows that. Everybody does.

 

On March 10th, Governor Whitmer began making tough decisions about the best way to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Michigan. Did her decisions place restrictions on individual’s rights to associate, assemble, worship, and travel, as the Commissioners contend? Yes, they did. Were her decisions arbitrary, inconsistent, and without reasonable scientific justification? No, they were not. Quite the contrary. Governor Whitmer’s decisions were based on the advice of health care professionals, businessmen, economists, and community and religious leaders—the best minds available. Since March 10th, she has issued more than 100 executive orders, some of them adding and some of them lifting restrictions, all of them based on the advice of experts.

 

Governor Whitmer’s response to the pandemic is working. Lately the counts of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID-19 are flat or decreasing statewide, enabling the governor to lift more and more restrictions. On May 7th, she allowed construction businesses to reopen. On May 22nd, she allowed businesses and restaurants in northern Michigan to reopen at reduced capacity. On May 26th, she allowed auto showrooms to reopen by appointment, On May 29th, she allowed nonessential medical and dental services and veterinary services to resume. On June 1st, she allowed people to gather outdoors in crowds of up to 100 people. Starting June 8th, she will allow retail stores, restaurants, bars, day camps, outdoor swimming pools, libraries, and museums to reopen at reduced capacity.

 

    3.  The Commissioner’s resolution demanded that Governor Whitmer compile and deliver to the Commissioners (within three days!) the following statistical data for Tuscola County: (1) the daily number of available in-patient beds, negative airflow beds, and ICU beds, (2) the daily number of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, (3) the daily number of COVID-19 patients visiting emergency rooms, (4) the daily number of hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19, sorted by age, gender, and race, (5) the daily number of hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 in persons with pre-existing health conditions (6) the daily number of hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 in residents of retirement or nursing homes, (7) the daily number of available ventilators and PPE, and (8) the number of medical professionals who have been furloughed, had work hours reduced, or received a pay cut since March 10th, 2020.

 

We cannot imagine why the Commissioners demanded these statistics. It doesn’t matter anyway, because most of them are readily available to anyone who wants to look them up. COVID-19 numbers are reported every day by every news outlet in the state. Detailed statistics are available on the web site (click on Tuscola County COVID-19 Dashboard), on the web site, and on the web site. An excellent source of statistics is the website, a COVID-19 dashboard launched by the governor’s office on May 26th.

 

4.  The Commissioner’s resolution encouraged citizens, businesses, and medical professionals in Tuscola County to decide for themselves the best way to reopen the economy. Although they didn’t say so explicitly, it sounds like the Commissioners are encouraging us to ignore Governor Whitmer’s executive orders. That seems reckless. We must remember that an executive order isn’t just a suggestion. It’s the law. As citizens, we are obliged to obey the law, even laws we dislike. If we don’t, there are penalties. Intentional violation of an executive order by the governor is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $1000 and up to 90 days in jail for individuals and forced closure or loss of license for businesses. So far, enforcement of the governor’s orders by state and local police has been restrained, but First Lieutenant Brian McComb, Caro Post Commander of the Michigan State Police, recently said, “We have to enforce the governor’s orders if called upon to do so.”

 

We do not dispute the right of the Commissioners to protest any law they dislike. That’s the right of every citizen. However, the Commissioners didn’t issue the “Move Tuscola County Forward” resolution as individual citizens; they issued it as the Tuscola County Board of Commissioners, implying that they speak for the people of Tuscola County. They don’t speak for all of us. They speak only for themselves.

Executive Board of the Tuscola County Democratic Party

Robert DeCoe, Chair

Deborah Parker, Vice Chair

Anne Lubeckyj, Secretary

MAY 10, 2020| EMAIL

Email  from Governor Whitmer

As it is near two months since our first confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan, I wanted to take the opportunity to reach out. Please accept this email as a brief update on our efforts here in the state to both combat COVID-19 and start to reopen our economy. 

My top priority as governor is to ensure the safety and well-being of all Michiganders. On March 10, 2020 I declared a State of Emergency and in the time since my administration has taken decisive action to combat COVID-19. The current Stay Home, Stay Safe order is in effect until May 28, 2020. Under this order, Michiganders still must not leave their homes except to run critical errands, to engage in safe outdoor activities, or to go to specified jobs.  

Last week, I signed Executive Order 2020-70 as part of our MI Safe Start plan. The executive order will allow the May 7 resumption of some types of work that present a very low risk of infection, including construction, real-estate activities, and work that is traditionally and primarily performed outdoors. Additionally, I recently signed Executive Order 2020-77, which will allow  manufacturing workers, including those at Michigan’s Big 3 auto companies, to resume work on Monday, May 11.

 

As part of this plan, we are bringing business and labor leaders together to ensure that while we lift some restrictions on the previous Stay Home, Stay Safe order, we are also protecting workers and their families from the spread of this virus. Please be assured that these decisions are being made based on data, science, and feedback from medical experts across the country. While the data shows that we are ready to lift some restrictions, I want to be clear: we must all continue to stay home and stay safe as much as possible. If we all keep doing our part, we can reduce the risk of a second wave and re-engage our economy safely and responsibly. 

 

My administration has expanded a number of resources to help those struggling during this uncertain time. Currently, many Michiganders impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to apply for food assistance and unemployment benefits. Evictions have been temporarily suspended and the tax foreclosure deadline has been extended to alleviate significant financial stress. We have secured federal money for small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19. This will hopefully allow Michigan’s small business continue to grow after this crisis, while keeping their workers on the payroll. 

 

These are challenging times, and I want to extend my sincerest thank you to all of the Michigander’s making incredible sacrifices. We all have an important role during this crisis, whether it is our advanced care professionals working tirelessly to combat the virus, the grocery store workers necessary to ensuring we have the supplies we need, or the those of you staying home to protect your fellow citizens, we are at our best when we look out for each other. 

 

For information about the state’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, please visit www.michigan.gov/coronavirus. If you have any health related questions, please call the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service (MDHHS) hotline at 888-535-6136 or send an email to  covid19@michigan.gov. Additionally, should you need any assistance with state government during these difficult times, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (517) 335-7858. 

 

Thank you for your time. I am committed not only to putting the health and safety of all Michiganders first, but also to building bridges between the state government and the communities it serves. Once again, please do not hesitate to contact my office should you have any questions or concerns. My staff and I would enjoy hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Gretchen Whitmer

Governor of Michigan

MARCH, 2019 | LETTER

Letter to Governor Whitmer

 As a resident of this part of the state, I respectfully request your support to continue to build the facility here. Constructing it here will preserve patient access to quality care and prevent more economic decline in this economically distressed part of the state. 

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