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Gov. Whitmer Talks About COVID, Budget, & Racism As A Public Health Crisis In WEMU Interview

Gretchen Whitmer
State of Michigan

It's been nearly three months since Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmerissued her first executive order to "stay home" to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan.  Even though the number of cases are declining, the pandemic has had a negative economic impact on many areas of the state budget and residents of the state.  WEMU's Lisa Barry spoke with the governor, who talked about the many different issues she is trying to deal with as a result of the current global health crisis.

As we learn to live with the coronavirus, as Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer puts it, she says it’s important we don’t let our guard down now or we could be in line for a second wave of the disease.

The governor acknowledging the pandemic has shined a light on racial disparities in our state and says she supports legislative efforts to declare racism a public health crisis in Michigan.

The governor saying, "It is a truth.  It is scientifically proven, and I acknowledge that, and we are working to try to remedy that with our racial disparity task force that the lieutenant governor is chairing."

Governor Whitmer says the pandemic has left the state “with a real budget crisis” and is urging Congress to pass a fourth supplemental billto provide additional funding to pay for public education, public health, and public safety in the state.

She also said she is working to rebuild Michigan’s unemployment system, which she admits has been underfunded and says they are working hard to remedy the problems people have had in collecting benefits during this global health crisis.  Governor Whitmer saying they are working on rebuilding Michigan's unemployment system, which she adds is like "trying to fix an airplane while you're flying it."

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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