March 10th is the one-year anniversary of the first cases of COVID-19 being diagnosed in Michigan. WEMU's Lisa Barry talked with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer about a special remembrance planned for that night and what it's been like for her to lead the state through this global health crisis over the past year.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist are marking the one-year anniversary of the first cases of COVID-19 being diagnosed in Michigan by asking all Michiganders to turn on the lights outside of their homes on Wednesday, March 10th, from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM, in remembrance of the Michiganders we have lost. The governor says almost 16,000 people in Michigan died over the past year due to the virus.
The governor called it "miraculous" that there are now three vaccines available to combat the virus and says, "We're going to get through this." She says tonight's remembrance is an acknowledgement of all the hard work done by so many different people to get through this tough time. She says she will take away many "lessons learned" over this past year.
The Michigan governor said she is frustrated that it has taken so long for state lawmakers to allocate billions of dollars in federal funds to assist residents. Parts of the relief package money has been approved now by state lawmakers, but she vetoed several items that were tied to her removal from having executive powers to make decisions concerning decisions made to deal with the pandemic, calling it "political gamesmanship." She called it "sad" that several billion dollars of federal financial support has yet to be allocated.
LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist are marking the one-year anniversary of the first cases of COVID-19 being diagnosed in Michigan by asking all Michiganders to turn on the lights outside of their homes on Wednesday, March 10th, from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM, in remembrance of the Michiganders we have lost.
“We’ve had a difficult year and lost so many fellow Michiganders, “said Governor Whitmer. “On Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist and I urge everyone to turn on their porch lights for an hour, so that we can remember those we’ve lost and remind ourselves that even in times of darkness, we’re in this together. As we mark this occasion, we also look towards the light at the end of the tunnel. We have three safe, effective vaccines, all miracles of science, that will help protect you, your family, and others from COVID and help us get our country and the economy back to normal.”
“It’s been one year since COVID-19 was found in Michigan, and as a result, this virus has changed almost every aspect of our daily lives, but despite its darkness, we have seen the brightest light shine in the determined resolve of each other during these trying times,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist. “The simple act of turning on our lights is a way to remember and honor those we have lost and show that we’re all in this together and we will emerge from this crisis, together.”
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