Governor Whitmer lays out plan for a post-vaccine Michigan
Whitmer urged the legislature to focus on three things.
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Governor Gretchen Whitmer applauded the state today for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine from the Pfizer facility near Kalamazoo. She says this is just the start of a long vaccine effort in the state.
Pfizer is the first company to be approved for distribution. Those doses are being delivered all over the country from Michigan.
Governor Whitmer praised competing companies, UPS and FedEx for working together to make sure vaccines were efficiently given out. She says this is a metaphor for everyone coming together to do their part to overcome the coronavirus crisis.
Governor Whitmer said, “We also got to see FedEx and UPS coming together to distribute this vaccine. They put their competitive nature aside for the common good of all. And I think if they can do it, I’d love to see Republicans and Democrats come together as well, because this is about the lives and livelihoods of Americans everywhere.”
The governor also saying she expects the Moderna vaccine to be approved next week. She spoke to their CEO just this morning.
FDA scientists say Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine is both safe and highly effective. The federal agency released 54 pages of documents ahead of Thursday’s meeting of outside advisors to the agency.
According to the report the vaccine was 94.5 percent effective. It’s expected that the FDA will grant emergency use for the vaccine by the end of the week.
This morning when Governor Whitmer spoke with Moderna’s CEO, he told her that he wants people to get a vaccine regardless of which one.
Even with the vaccines beginning to ship out, there’s still a long road back from COVID-19. It could be months before the vaccine is available to the general public, and in that time the disease could claim many more lives.
Once again, Governor Whitmer is urging state lawmakers to pass a set of bills aimed at keeping people safe and providing money during the covid-19 pandemic.
During the briefing today, Governor Whitmer said she sent another letter to the legislature asking them to pass the bill. She had already sent them a letter before Thanksgiving asking them to pass a $100 million COVID-19 relief bill.
She said, “In the three weeks since I sent that letter, 2000 Michiganders have died from COVID-19. … We can’t afford to wait any longer.”
Whitmer urged the legislature to focus on three things. First, she asked them to approve $100 million in spending for families and small businesses that were hit hard by the pandemic. Second, she asked them to pass a permanent extension of unemployment benefits. She said that the senate’s extension of benefits for 26 weeks to march is not enough. Lastly, she said the legislature needs to pass a mandate requiring masks in public until a majority of Michiganders have had the COVID-19 vaccine.
Today, Michigan reported 4,730 new COVID-19 cases, and 183 additional deaths.
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