Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said on Friday she is hopeful the state can begin to reengage parts of its economy beginning on May 1, days after facing a barrage of criticism for her strict measures to combat the new coronavirus.
Later on Friday, President Donald Trump, who has traded jabs with Whitmer over the state’s handling of the outbreak, tweeted: “Liberate Michigan,” along with similar tweets naming other states with Democratic governors.
Trump did not mention Ohio, whose Republican governor has set a similar target for economic reopening. The chair of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, has criticized Whitmer, saying she was turning Michigan into a “police state”.
As of Thursday, Michigan had more than 29,000 COVID-19 cases and almost 2,100 deaths, though Whitmer said the number of new cases was showing signs of leveling off.
“I am hopeful that come May 1 we will make some steps forward, and as we proceed, if that goes well and we continue to see progress, that we then go into a second phase,” Whitmer said, referring to continued decrease in hospitalizations from the virus.
Whitmer told a webcast town hall with a Detroit business chamber that she recognized people were “desperate to get back to work,” and that no solution would be zero risk.
Michigan would have to be strategic and “methodically” reengage sectors of the economy, she said. – READ MORE