Sen. MacDonald frustrated with governor’s new punitive COVID-19 restrictions

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald on Wednesday expressed his frustration with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s continued unilateral actions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As our state and nation see a surge in COVID-19 cases, we should be working together to protect all families, but the governor has once again decided to go it alone and issue new punitive restrictions with no input from the people,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “While it is uncertain if the governor’s latest shutdown will be effective in combatting the virus surge, what is clear is that it will be devastating to thousands of Michigan small businesses and workers still struggling from her previous actions.”

On Sunday, Whitmer announced that her Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) director had issued a new emergency order reinstating several COVID-19 restrictions starting Nov. 18 until at least Dec. 8.

Under the new order, there will be no in-person instruction in high schools, and indoor dine-in service at restaurants and bars will be closed, along with movie theaters, ice arenas, bowling alleys, and casinos. Workplaces must close if the work can be done remotely, and high school athletics and group fitness classes must shut down. Indoor crowds of more than two households or 10 people are banned, and outdoor gatherings will now be limited to no more than 25 people.

“Right before the holidays, the governor is making unilateral decisions that could cost people their livelihoods while ignoring the message from the Michigan Supreme Court encouraging her to work with the Legislature on this critical health issue,” MacDonald said. “Many of the businesses effected by the governor have made huge investments to put in place comprehensive protocols to keep their workers and customers safe.

I urge the governor and DHHS to reconsider the latest restrictions and allow Michigan ice rinks, restaurants and other businesses that have adopted rigorous safety standards to stay open at a reduced capacity and with strict social distancing, PPE and sanitation requirements.”