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Gov. Whitmer says state of emergency could last for "months”

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 11:51 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - At a press conference today Governor Gretchen Whitmer speculated that the current state of emergency could have months left before being lifted.

The Governor said, “We are 6 months into our experience with COVID-19. It’s been tough.”

Before commenting on her estimate, she gave context for the nation’s current death toll from the disease.

“We know more Americans have died from COVID-19 than WWII and Viet Nam combined. And yesterday, on the day that we hit 190,000- exceeded 190,000 people dead in the United States, we learned from some revelations from Bob Woodward that the president admitted on a tape this past February that he knew that COVID-19 passes through the air. He knew it was a lot more deadly than the flu, despite all of the representations that have been made in the last six months.”

She added, “He downplayed it.”

“Experts say that if we had acted just one week sooner as a nation," Whitmer said, "36,00 people would have been saved. Two weeks sooner 54,000. Lives that would have been spared in March, and April. And we know in Michigan 6,552 people have died. So, I think this failure to act that has cost so many lives, has send out economy into a tailspin- and I’ll say it’s just devastating to hear that when we have been working so hard to save lives.

Whitmer then addressed what she believes will be the course for the near future.

“We will not be in a state of emergency forever. And I made a comment in an interview the other day that I thought we were in the earlier phases of COVID-19, and what I meant by that is we are learning an exponential amount about COVID-19 every day. I anticipate learning so much at such a quick clip now and in the coming months.”

Whitmer said, "I believe that this is a matter of months, frankly. And no one’s more eager to get out of the state of emergency than I. But we’ve had to make tough decisions throughout this process. With a federal government that hasn’t done that, I think it’s important that so many governors have.”

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