LeDuff: Covid Burns Across Michigan Like a Prairie Fire. Whitmer Has Lame Explanation

April 05, 2021, 9:01 PM by  Charlie LeDuff

With Covid burning like a prairie fire across Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has taken to her tired and true play of gaslighting the public. She offers fiction as fact, citing data without actually citing data.

“Number one, we did a really good job early on keeping our numbers low,” she said last Friday at a vaccination event in Pontiac. “And because of that we've got fewer people per-capita who have antibodies than a lot a lot of other states do.”

There's more.

“We were very successful early on, but right now that means in the wake of variants that are easier to catch, we have fewer people with antibodies.”

Who buys this? 

The media, apparently. It seems the Covid-by-numbers press corps in the Great Lakes State that can't remember what they wrote a year ago -- “early on” and during the height of the pandemic. 

Of course, nobody can remember what they wrote. Because nobody read it.

Because, the data shows, we did not do a good job in Michigan early on. We were terrible, in fact.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (Photo: State of Michigan)

What does Whitmer mean by “early on” anyway? 

State of Emergency

Since no one bothered to ask her, let's take this to mean March 10 through May 10. After all, March 10 is when Whitmer first declared a state of emergency, hours after polls closed for the Democratic primary. 

And May 10 was about when TCF Center's field hospital was shut due to a so-called lack of need; Whitmer re-upped on her controversial nursing home orders; and Whitmer's husband took his infamous drive up north to rake the leaves, while the rest of us were locked down.

Remember that March through May is when it the reaper really hit us, when Michigan recorded more than 25% of its 16,239 coronavirus deaths (vital records reviews not withstanding.)

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On May 11, the well-regarded Covid Tracking Project ranked Michigan as fourth in the country for total Covid-related deaths; seventh in confirmed cases, and just 17th in testing.

You should know, only one other state is surrounded on three borders by frigid waters -- Alaska. And how did Alaska do “early on?" Ninth in testing.

Dismal national rankings

Today, Michigan cities are the top five nationwide for Covid outbreaks in terms of average daily cases during the last two weeks: Jackson at No. 1. Detroit at No. 2. Flint at No. 3. Monroe at No. 4. Lansing at No. 5. (Battle Creek and Bay City are in the top 10; see list below.)

And the Covid-19 variant B.1.1.7  (aka UK variant) is detected even in the sticks of Lenawee County, home to places like Adrian and Rome Township.

I'm no epidemiologist, but perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Michigan ranks No. 34 among 50 states in the percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered.

Don't even get me started on unemployment checks.

Where's the GOP? 

So where is the opposition party? The Republicans are led by goofballs with no outlook, no political position, and no answers. 

Ron Weiser

Ron Weiser, state Republican party chairman, crapped on in his own carpet two weeks ago, when he called the state's top Democratic leaders “those three witches” to a group of Oakland County party sycophants. 

In case his point was missed, Weiser doubled down to the Repubican crowd, saying Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson needed to be “burned at the stake.”

This apparently is the GOP road map to taking back power in Michigan. This is so sophomoric that freshmen at the University of Michigan, where Weiser serves as a regent, have called for his resignation.

Not one to be bullied, Weisner vows not to be “cancelled.” 

With generals like this, I give the Republicans' chances in 2022 to be slightly above zero. (Quick, name a prominent Michigan Republican not named Weiser or Lucido.)

How truly low things have sunk. Michigan is on fire. The governor hordes nursing home data. The attorney general refuses to open an investigation. And the Republicans are too craven to issue supoenas. 

Meanwhile Rome Township is burning.

(Table: The New York Times, April 5)

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