Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Sunday said she has zero regrets on lockdown restrictions that are in place, asserting hospitals in rural areas of the state aren’t equipped to handle a surge of COVID-19 patients.
In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” Whitmer pushed back on protesters who want the lockdown restrictions lifted immediately.
“I don’t [have any regrets] and here’s why,” she said.”Michigan right now has the third highest number of deaths from COVID-19, and yet, we're the tenth largest state. We have a disproportionate problem in the state of Michigan and so we could take the same kinds of actions other states have, but it doesn't rise to the challenge we're confronting.
“And that's precisely why we have to take a more aggressive stand. It's working. We are seeing the curve start to flatten. … Our rural hospitals are not equipped to handle a big surge and that's why these important steps that we've taken are just critical to continuing to flatten that curve.”
Whitmer said though there’s enough testing capability in her state to track those infected with virus, there aren’t enough supplies for that testing process.
“We have the capacity to double or triple the number of tests that we are doing but we need some of these supplies. The re-agents and the swabs are absolutely essential,” she said. “You can’t process all of these tests if you can’t take the sample and protect it and move forward though testing.”
Whitmer said she’s glad the White House has suggested a phased reopening plan.
“These stay home orders weigh incredibly heavy because I know there's an economic cost,” she said, adding: “But the fact of the matter is we have to be really smart about how we proceed. I'm glad to see that the White House recommended opening in phases or waves or whatever terminology you want to use. The fact of the matter is, we can't just turn back to what life was like before COVID-19. We have to be strategic. We have to be careful.”
“We’re doing this calculation every day and looking to when we can do that safely because the worst thing would be a second wave,” she said.
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