tv Michigan Gov. Whitmer Holds Coronavirus Town Hall CSPAN May 1, 2020 4:08am-5:09am EDT
coverage, the presidential impeachment process, and now the federal response to the coronavirus. you can watch all public affairs programming on come online, or on our free c-span radio app, and be part of the national conversation through c-span's "aily "washington journal program or through our social media feeds. c-span, created by private industry, america's public television companies come as a public service, and brought you today by your television provider. michigan governor griffin? gretchen whitmer held a virtual town hall meeting on the coronavirus pandemic, including rising unemployment claims and reopening the economy. she also faced accusations that she is abusing her power. >> march 10, 20 20, just 50 days confirmedirst two day
in michigan. >> since then, our world was turned upside down. gov. whitmer: to be honest, we have never seen something like this. >> more than 30,000 cases confirmed in our state. >> this virus impacting every aspect of our lives. >> over one million michiganders now unemployed. >> thousands of small business owners wondering if they will be able to stay afloat. survivell find a way to and survive through the recession. >> public schools shuttered through the school year. >> kitchen tables becoming classrooms. >> parents becoming teachers. >> but where there's struggles, there's strengths. >> heroes. >> on the front line. >> while michiganders and stay home and do their part. gov. whitmer: the people of michigan have stepped up, and we have started to flatten this curve. most people have played their
part, and we are grateful. >> we know there are plans to reopen the state, but many questions are main how we will get there. >> tonight, we come together to chart that course. town hall.cial ♪ >> good evening. bym so honored to be joined my colleagues. broadcasting stations across michigan tonight, and on behalf of all of our stations, we want to thank you, our viewers, for your questions, and for tuning into this incredibly special event. >> an unprecedented time in our history calls for unprecedented response. covid-19 has hit our states hard. loss ofders have seen a lives, jobs, and a sense of
normalcy. >> as we look toward our state's rebound, many questions remain, like when will people be able to go back to work, when will things get back to normal, and what is the plan if we do see another spike in cases? so our three stations are teaming up to get your questions answered. >> tonight, we are joined live by governor gretchen whitmer. governor, we want to thank you for the opportunity is to bring our questions directly to you. thegovernor is joined by chief executive dr. joneigh khaldun and -- thank you for being here. before we bring you our questions, let's hear from the governor. gov. whitmer: well, thank you. thank you to the station for toding this and thank you all of you for tuning in. this is an unprecedented time, yet we have seen some of the greatest people doing their part
to help one another and thinking about the nurses and the doctors and the fire and the police, the teachers who are helping students in this incredibly challenging time. the sanitation workers and the childcare workers. thank you for doing your part, too, whether you are just staying home or have donated blood, or you been able to donate your food co-op. right now, we are in the midst of a global pandemic. we have seen our curve flattened, because you have done your part. there's no question that, if you are a small business owner or one of the people that is morning of the loss of a business or mourning the loss of a loved one, we have done our part to flattened this curve and saved lives in the process. now is the moment we can start to think about turning the dial
and starting to reengage our economy, but we have to be really smart and make decisions based on data and science, centered around public health. that's our next step. we have to stay safe, we have to stay smart, and as we navigate this together, we know that tough times don't last, but tough people do. and we are going to get through this together. >> we want to thank you, governor whitmer. before we get started, here is a this breakdown of how evening will work. we have divided our viewer-submitted questions by category. those include reopening the state and unemployment. mike, frank, and i will ask questions in one category along with follow-ups before moving on. mike won a very heated game of rock, paper, scissors, so he and has the floor and he will get us
, started tonight. mike: thank you. governor, you are working on implementing your plan that you announced on monday, a systematic reopening of the state. we have received many questions about that plan. specifically people for living in these counties, they are asking -- why are they included with metro detroit, which everyone fears will be the last totally reengage? gov. whitmer: that is a question that is on a lot of people's minds, so thank you for asking it. as we look to michigan's economy, we can divide areas based on which economies are close to one another and how people travel to get to work. we also know that our public health system is divided up into regions as well. and so trying to things, as wetwo think about re-engaging our economy, it is dependent on how
well our public health system is ready to respond if there is an uptick in covid-19, so these labor sets, how people travel, and how these economies are length, and what the public health is is really important to how we reengage and the assessment of risk. the good news is that the majority of people in our state have done their part. we have seen that the curve flattened, and there is no question that lives were saved in the process. now we have to really, mindfully, in a data-driven way, with the best health information , you know, and statistics, start to turn on and start to reengage. to do so, region is one of the many factors we look at. as you might recall last week, , we were able to move forward with opening up motorized boating and golf and landscaping.
tomorrow, i will be sending an executive order that commences construction industries, both residential and commercial. we know that this is lower risk, and statewide, we can start to turn that dial on that particular front. as we look to additional industries, we will be assessing region, but at this juncture, it has been safe to take the steps. as a statewide measure. that's why, as we think about what our next steps are, we are always doing that assessment. in southeast, michigan, we have really seen people do their part and watch those numbers plummet. it doesn't mean we are out of the woods, because we are not. we still had 600 people die in the last few days and another 1000 become detected the last few hours. but we do know that the trajectory we are on has flattened, and that is good news. that is good news. we have to stay smart, and we have to keep doing our part. as we take those next steps, we
are going to do so in a way that avoids a second wave. you mentioned, the numbers. the white house guidelines are calling for downward-trending case numbers for at least 14 days. we have yet to get beyond five days consecutively. are you committed to doing this under white house guidelines or , or are you making decisions independently, and consultation with your own team? gov. whitmer: i think that the white house guidelines is really looking at a national statistic. what we have to work from is what we are seeing here in the ground. it is not always a day-to-day assessment but a rolling average that we should be looking at, that our epidemiologists have and chief executive have counseled. decisions,aking
that are trying to keep michiganders safe our , economy, and ensure that we do all of this with the correct data from home. while the national standards are helpful, we have got to make determinations based on what is best for us in michigan. michigan has the 10th largest population in the country and yet we have the third highest number of deaths. covid-19 has hit michigan uniquely hard, and that's why we have had to take unique steps to prevent the spread of covid-19 anta save lives. so in this moment, i think it is really crucial that we are listening to our best public health minds, and we are fortunate to have a lot of them in michigan. we have called in expertise from all of our research universities , as we are determining how we score risk for different sectors of our economy, so that we keep
people safe in the workplace, or and we avoid a second wave. the worst thing we could do is to abandon all social distancing, to pretend like we are done with covid-19, and resume life as it was. that would leave us vulnerable to a second wave. as we look to what has happened in other countries around the world, communities and countries have experienced a second wave thand or maybe even worse the first one. we don't want that to happen. none of us want that to happen. that's why we have to be really smart about how we reengage our economy. i am listening to science, the data, and working with some of our great business leaders, business enterprises, working with labor, so that we get this right to protect our workers and reengage our economy. our public health is what centers every decision that i am making. we are going to
send it over to frank. frank: all right, thank you, mike. governor, people are so eager to bring some sense of normalcy to their lives. now that we have taken a look at the different regions, we would like to get to a question we have been asked many times. when will restaurants for dining reopen and what about hair salons and pet groomers? what are experts saying about what they can expect? gov. whitmer: we are all eager to get back to some semblance of normalcy. this has been hard. this has been hard for the business owner who has been worried if their business will survive. it is hard for the person who lost their job, because they closed bars.
it is hard for the parents who have kids at home and are worried about their learning loss between now and when we can resume in-person instruction. and yet, we know that these actions were incredibly important to take. we have lost more people to we have lost more people to covid-19 than we lost in vietnam, and we are not out of the woods yet. as we reengage, we are asking questions and doing analysis. we are looking at the data to see the inherent risks in our economy. questions like, is this something that engages with the public? in hair salons, yes, it is. is this work that has been done inside and outside? are they able to practice social distancing? can they be six feet apart and wear masks? when you do this analysis, you can conclude that certain activities are higher risk than others.
that's why the construction is lower-risk activity, and that is why it is the next to come online. as we work to bring it online we , we have to ask about the pursue, withalso leaders in industry, protocols that will keep people safe. we are watching what is happening in other parts of the world and the country. when you look at what is going on in georgia, it has been determined that it is safe to go back for these businesses, and yet the public does not think it is safe to do so. so simply declaring something to be open and have the public sentiment, have the confidence are two different things. that is why we want to get this right, so that the public knows they are going to be safe, the workers know they are going to be safe. when we reengage, you can do so in a way where we don't have to pull back. things that interact personally
with the general public will come on a little later, but we are working with the restaurants and we are working with various industries to make sure we have the protocols in place so that people are safe when we do reengage. trust me, i am as anxious as anyone to keep turning this dial forward, but it has got to be driven by what we are seeing in terms of covid-19. because there are a lot of places in michigan we need to keep a close eye on, where numbers are beginning to climb. frank: governor, the uaw says it does not want workers back in less it is safe. uaw president roy gamble said recently we have not done enough testing to understand it is safe. what changes will auto factories need, so there can be safe distancing and other protocols? gov. whitmer: i have been having regular conversations with rory gamble, president of the uaw, as well as the heads of the big three auto industry companies.
what i know is this, they have been working very closely together to make sure that they have protocols keep people safe. when they returned to work. whether it is erecting plexiglas dividers between people on the line, who cannot practice that six-foot distancing whether it , is protocols to make sure we don't have big shift changes, where people are coming and going in a small workplace. whether it is ramping up slowly, perhaps a third of the workforce in the beginning and then ramping up slowly. bringing certain parts of the organization online. i believe that they have got a lot of great protocols that they have developed with the uaw, but our workers have to know that they will be safe in the workplace. they have to know that when they go to work, they are not going to bring covid-19 to their families. the thing about this virus is that there is no cure or
no vaccine yet. this is something that is highly communicable, and for one person in your household, it can feel like a fever. for another, it can be fatal. that is why i am working closely to protect our workers and our families. that is why i am working closely with uaw and the big to make three, sure that when we turn the dial and bring that part of our economic sector on, that people can have confidence they are going to be safe. it is a real concern that rory has voiced. i have talked to a lot of people who have worked in various parts of our economy, and they want to know you're going to be safe when they go back to work. frank: thank you, governor. angie? angie: governor, we have viewers who thank you, frank.
governor whitmer, we want to continue to talk about the reopening plan. we have viewers watching this evening across several regions who are scared about their health and finances. we want to know if there will be multiple weeks or even months between each region reopening to track any potential spikes. gov. whitmer: the quick answer is that i hope not. what we have seen from the michigan public is that by and large people have done the right thing. that is why we saw this huge spike actually flatten out. i can issue all of the orders in the world, but it is actually the people who are stepping up and doing the right thing to make a difference. i am grateful, our nurses and doctors are grateful. there are leaders doing everything they can to make sure people understand what is really at risk here. we are doing our part, and i am so inspired by that. is wee know at this point feel comfortable turning that dial and reengaging our
construction industry. additional industries will come online in the coming days, but every day, we are watching those numbers. what percentage of tests are coming back positive? what we see in a particular region? is there a spike in a particular region that we need to understand and make sure we have the appropriate tracing protocols, and that we are able to isolate people who have covid-19? all of these are pieces that have to work together. for us to take the next step, we all need to keep doing our part. it is always dependent on what those numbers look like. so as long as we are protecting ourselves and wearing a mask, inn we are out in public and a close space keeping six feet , apart, staying home, unless you have got to get out for something that is really -- like food or medicine, so as long as we keep doing that, we are going to keep turning the dial, and every few days, you will hear me talk about -- giving an update and talking about the next
sector to come online. my hope is that they keep doing what they are doing. we can make progress every week until we get to a point where we we are reengaged safely, fully. angie: michigan's sudden job losses mean the state can expect big losses. it's just as people are turning to the state for more help them. how we make up for the revenue , and will it mean an increase in taxes? gov. whitmer: well, like states across the nation, we have taken economic hit. there is no question we will have to make tough decisions. ae president has passed supplemental. my hope is there is another one coming for state and local budgets, for our municipalities
and cities. i think that it is really important that we have the flexibility we need to meet the needs of the people of our states, because we are different. we are not all the same. and we have got -- we are going to have some really important things we have got to do as we reengage. for instance, we need to make sure that we are able to wrap our kids with the support they need so that the learning loss we see over a typical summer is not worse because we have been out of in-person instruction longer than the usual summer. we will have lost with covid-19 that we could have never predicted, and we have to make sure that they are invested in, because we are probably talking about i $3 billion fine -- a 3 billion-dollar hit to our general fund this year. that's why governors across the country are banding together to try and get congress to move this forward. while we are talking, i should
recognize our congressional delegation. they have been really great to work with. republican and democratic. we are michigan first and we -- the state and the city, unlike the federal government cannot run deficits. we have to have balanced budgets. assistance out of washington, d.c., the need to help us get through this global pandemic. angie: thank you, governor. moving tornor, we are unemployment now. we have seen more than one million people in this state lose work during the pandemic. most have been able to get through and file for unemployment benefits. i say most because it is not all. we have a ton of questions from viewers who want to know what you and your team are doing to fix the website. gov. whitmer: i am here with the
director of labor and economic opportunity and he is sitting right to my left. i would love for him to tell you a little bit about what is going on. i am going to acknowledge one thing. a lot of michiganders are hurting and this has been a tough time. it is been a tough time for seniors who are isolated and have not seen their grandkids. it is a tough time for business owners who are worried but aren't sure what the future is going to look like. it has been a tough time for a lot of families who are struggling because they have lost a loved one, nurses, doctors, people on the front lines who are stressed out about their own health. what we have tried to do instead government is make it easier for people to try to apply for unemployment. we have cut a lot of the red tape it is been put there the last two years that is made it harder for people to get this help.
sohave extended unemployment there is additional help. i think that is important. we have had over one million people file for unemployment. we have helped over 800,000. we have done an incredible amount of work. and yet, there are tens of thousands of people who still need the help. we have quintupled the number of people working in unemployment on the front lines. we will not rest until everyone gets a support to which they are entitled. update on thet an website, i would love for the director to add a little bit more to that. mike: let me get you on about the red tape. there are a lot of people who are telling us they are having great difficulty getting through
some of that red tape. what can you tell those people about what they can do to cut through it? thingsitmer: one of the i did early on during this crisis was to eliminate the requirements people needed to get paperwork from their former bosses. this was something that was an impediment created over the last number of years and we wanted to make sure people in the midst of all of this did not have to do this in addition. i know there are tens of thousands of people were frustrated and trying to get through this. that is why we quintupled -- times 5 -- the number of people working the phones. we will not stop until every claim is met. additionally, there is more to the story. i know the director is in a better position to share. i would love for him to have that opportunity.
seen inhing we have terms of unemployment is at the health crisis caused by covid-19 has caused a deep need for unemployment benefits. the department of labor release numbers and millions of more americans were added. have 1.3 million who have sought unemployment claims. that is a historic number that we have never seen in this state and in this period of time. other states have struggled to take in these claims and payout claims. michigan is not alone. the website has been slow at times but it is fully functional and operating and people are able to get through. we have over one million people who are accessing it -- or one million account accesses each day. the good news is we have been able to get benefits to 1.1 million people.
billionresents about $3 in benefits we have paid out in a short period of time. but that is not comfort to the thousands of people who still need the one-on-one help because they have been taught in some legal issue that he to resolve. we still need to get through every single one of those. nobody will lose one dollar of benefits because they still need our one-on-one help. we have added hundreds of people to the call centers, hundreds of people to the process and to make sure every single person will get the benefits they need and we are committed to doing that. we will not rest until that happens. mike: let me send it back over to frank now. frank: thank you very much, mike. governor, we have heard from many doctors and nurses, desperately pleading for more personal protective equipment. massive shortages across the country, including right here in
our state, many michiganders all answering the call for help. moving forward, what can our state do to build up its supply of ppe for frontline workers? gov. whitmer: thank you for that question. one of the most startling conversations early on in this process was a conversation with the nation's governors and the white house. it was conveyed to us we would have to come up with all of these pieces of equipment on our own. that the national stockpile was never going to meet our needs. they told us early on that we should start looking for this. i think that was a very sobering moment. we realized that in the state emergency operations center we would have to stand up a procurement office that would have a global reach. we have followed up on every lead that has been sent to us.
contracted around the globe. i know some eyebrows went up that i acknowledged we are also bidding against each other, we governors. often times our contracts would be superseded by the federal government right when we expected to receive them. one of the things that we have been successful at doing after we got as much as we could out of the federal government, in addition to that, we have been contracting. we have been able to build up a storage of ppe. we are talking about days, maybe weeks of it. early in the crisis, we were living literally day-to-day, doctors and nurses were wearing masks for a full 12 hour shift. that is dangerous. that is not how it should be. it does not mean that we have gotten a few days worth or a few weeks worth that we can let up for even a second. we need to continue this effort. we are grateful for so many
michigan businesses that have started to manufacture this ppe. it is important. as we start to reengage our workforce, we know these pieces of equipment will need to become commonplace. you will need to wear a mask for the foreseeable future when you go to the grocery store. for your safety, and for the grocery clerk's safety. that is why we are working with business connect to ensure as businesses come online, they have the ability to get that kind of ppe, we are manufacturing in michigan so businesses can keep their workers safe. this will be part of our new normal. we need to make sure everyone has access to what the need to keep themselves, their businesses and their customers safe. that is what this business connect will be working with us and the small business association of michigan to make
sure it is available to all businesses as we reengage. frank: now that you have opened up the face mask can of worms, let's go there. your executive order requiring face masks be worn in public, there is a lot of confusion. we see a lot of people who do not wear the masks. should that be made mandatory? will you enforce it? why has this waited until now? why don't you and your team wear masks during your weekly briefings at the podium? gov. whitmer: you put a lot of questions in there, i will do my best to remember them all and get to each of them. first and foremost, i am sitting near dr. joneigh khaldun, six feet apart, but she can add. dayave learned a lot every of this crisis. virus, its a novel
has never existed before, we are learning every single day. there is no cure, there is no vaccine. we are learning more about it every day and it can be very deadly. , they arey in the air concluding, that when we are talking to one another, we are exposing one another. wearing a face covering is important. we don't want the general public 95 masks. we need to save those for our frontline workers, nurses, wetors, police and fire, but want everyone to wear a face covering when they are in a closed public space. i was speaking to a number of grocery store workers and some said in their stores, everyone is wearing a face mask. others said, a few people are. they are scared. they have to show up so we have food.
they are critical to our food supply, defeating the people of our state. we need people to observe this face mask order because it is about not just your health, but everyone else's, as well. the question, why don't we wear them during our press briefings? i am not in a public space right now. this is a very controlled space in the office building. there are very few people in this room right now. we are observing social distancing and i think it is important we are able to communicate. you can't see on this stage, but we have it marked out how far away we have to be from each other. the fact it is not a public space makes it a little bit different. when i am out and about, i am wearing my mask, too frank:. employers can make that same decision? gov. whitmer: the protocols will
be different depending on the workplace. in workplaces where you cannot observe social distancing, it is high density, face masks will have to be part of the protocol. simply that there is one rule that makes sense everywhere you go, but in the workplace, especially if you are engaging with the general public, face masks will need to be part of the general protocol. dr. khaldun, did you want to add to that? dr. khaldun: absolutely. there are only so many tools we have in our toolbox when it comes to covid-19. there is no vaccine, anything we can do, particularly the social distancing, we need to make sure we are doing that as aggressively as possible. people can make face masks at home. you could use a handkerchief, you can use a bandana, put it
over your face when you are out and keep others safe. frank: thank you very much. angie: governor whitmer, we want to focus on regulations. there are some who say you are abusing your power. today, there was a second protest in lansing where people say you are overreaching. thousands came to the to protest, the emergency declaration ends tonight and republican -- challenging your authority. what is your response to the legislature's actions today and what you say to those people, including members of the legislature who say the restrictions you put in place are not within your power as governor? gov. whitmer: first i will say this, we remain in a state of emergency. that is a fact. for anyone to declare mission accomplished means they are turning a blind eye to over 600 people have died in the last 72
hours, another 1000 people were diagnosed as covid-19 positive. we have sectors of our state in which the numbers are continuing to climb. everyone is entitled to their opinion. i am not going to make decisions about our public health based on political games. i will make them based on the best science, data, what our epidemiologists and public health experts are telling us. doctor,ask any nurse, grocery store worker and estate, are we out of the woods yet? they would say no. it defies common sense and science to make any declaration otherwise. we are still in a state of emergency. we have to take this seriously. we also know that if we are smart, if we all could to get to do our part, that we can start to turn the dial and reengage safely. but we have to stay smart. politics has no business when we
are talking about saving lives. every person and estate matters to me, whether you agree with this order or not, we have to be vigilant. we have to make decisions based on the best science and i will do everything i can to save lives and the state of michigan and safely and responsibly reengage our economy so we can all be stronger when we come out of this, eventually. right now is not the time for politics. right now is the time to do the right thing, and that is continuing the stay-at-home order, continuing the state of emergency, continuing to do our part. we will get through this, but we are not going to play politics when peoples lives are on the line. angie: can you respond directly to the lawsuit? gov. whitmer: no lawsuit has been filed. i can't respond to something that has not been filed. i know there is political conversation at the. i am staying focused to make
sure we make decisions that protects public health and puts us in a position where we can start to reengage sectors of our economy and i am not getting distracted by political maneuverings at the capital. angie: thank you. there have been so many questions sent to us whether or not you are following your own orders. mask in an wearing a enclosed location, which you already responded to. someone wants to know if you have gotten your hair professionally done. have been us on air asked the same thing. my husband colored my hair recently. what you say to those who wonder if you are not practicing what you preach? gov. whitmer: i think it is important that leaders model what they ask others to do. true, you can ask my
rootsr-old who colored my in our house. i have been at the governor's residence, or i do phone call after phone call, interview after interview, i check in with first responders, i do zoom meetings, i have been in lansing, michigan, in the middle of this crisis, doing everything i can to keep people safe. all of those rumors, discard them because they are not true. angie: thank you, governor. love the fact you let your husband color your hair. i am lucky enough to be able to cut my own. one thing people cannot do for themselves is surgery. we got this question tonight regarding elective surgery. she was scheduled for a hip operation in late march until
the shutdown was ordered. when will elective surgery be allowed again? gov. whitmer: her surgery is permitted right now. the fact of the matter is we had to stop all unnecessary -- i don't mean to say it is unnecessary -- all nonurgent surgery so we can conserve that gloves andsks, the the gowns. we were running short when our numbers were increasing rapidly that we had tickets conserve for that purpose. now that we have been able to procure some of that, we are able to move forward with some of those surgeries. there are hospital systems that are starting to schedule those and i hope that if she is ready to have that surgery that she gets on the schedule. she certainly can move forward safely now. now ups it pretty much
to the individual health systems and hospitals to determine whether to reengage on that level? does the same hold true for dental procedures? to awhitmer: being married dentist, i can tell you this -- my husband has been going in for emergencies. as you can imagine, dentistry poses a unique risk because you are literally working on someone's mouth, which is where covid-19 resides. that will be coming online a little bit later. i am not making any proclamations here and now, but we are working diligently to make sure we have the appropriate protocols to keep people safe. i think dr. khaldun would be a answerperson to ask -- the question about the hospitals. dr. khaldun: i am a practicing
emergency medicine physician. the most important relationship is that between the doctor and the patient. even with our executive order, we allow a physician to determine what is time sensitive and urgent for that patient. diagnostics and treatment for cancer, diagnostics and treatment for advanced heart disease. we did not want people to delay things that were necessary. we have been working closely with the chief medical officer's and the health care system and they are bringing online various procedures and doing it in such , way that they have enough ppe hospital beds, and they are making sure patients are safe and making sure we don't see a surge in covid-19 cases. it is important that if people have things like chest pain, difficulty breathing, our hospitals are open, our emergency departments are open, -- please'the
don't delay seeking medical treatment. there, doe you are you feel like if we end up with a second round of cases here, medically speaking, are we ready as a state to handle that? the governor can address that as well when she returns. dr. khaldun: we are watching that very closely every day. particularly in southeast michigan, there were a couple weeks when we were very concerned when we had a surge in cases and we were running out of icus filledaw our with patients with covid-19. there are some regions of the state that are still seeing an increase in cases and they also don't have the number of hospital beds that some of our southeastern michigan hospitals have. as we are looking at how to reopen the economy, we will look
at the hospital surge capacity as well, on a regional basis. governor, quickly, anything you want to add to that? with the restrictions be the same if we have a second wave? gov. whitmer: that is what we are hoping to avoid. people,te of 10 million we may not see i die on everything that is happened, we agree we don't want to be in another stay-at-home order in august, september or october. what we want to do is we want to make sure we continue to build up our public health capacity and keep the spread of covid-19 reengagewe are able to sectors of our economy. we want to avoid a second wave at all costs. it would be more deadly, it would be more harmful to our economy, and that is what everything we are doing will be driven by the best science and data with the partnership of the
business community and we have the protocols to keep people safe and avoid that second wave. nobody wants to be in the position where we have to go back into a stay-at-home order. me the most. we don't want to have to do this again. i never imagined when i took my oath of office that i would have to use the powers i have to try to save lives. i never imagined we would have 3800 people who have lost their lives to a virus that is ravaging the globe, yet here we are. we have to be very smart about how we reengage to avoid that second wave. we can do this, but it takes all of us to be a part of this. we have done a phenomenal job flooding the curve because everyone has done their part. we all have to continue to have that mindset as we reengage. each step depends on those numbers staying low. so many changes we have
all gone through since early march. most can't go to church in person, big family get-togethers are off-limits, weddings are canceled. one mother of a bride wrote in, concerned of a wedding in mid july. when and how do you plan on easing restrictions on these gatherings? weddings, and simpler gatherings with friends and family? gov. whitmer: i am sorry to say i cannot give you a specific date. it is probably not going to be safe to congregate in masses for quite a while and it is heartbreaking, especially if you are planning a wedding. i was planning a graduation party. my daughter was having her milestone of graduating from high school this year but we can't do any of those things safely. she is heartbroken about it, as
am i. we know michigan is not alone in this moment, this is what is happening all across the country, these big gatherings can't safely happen right now. my hope is that we can start to reengage safely and that we will get there. i cannot tell you what happened by july. i can't tell you precisely when it will happen. it depends on how well all of us do our part is we take the steps to reengage. my hope is that we can have big gatherings again. i think when you consider the hardship that you just described, one of the things i think about is the people who are mourning the loss of their loved ones. i spoke to a couple of parents who lost their daughter. life,hey memorialized her they could not congregate and support one another in person the way that we usually do when we lose a loved one. they could not have a church
service where people came together and physically supported one another, hugged one another. we have to do things differently to save lives and it is hard and it is something we will get through. at this point in time, we have to be smart, vigilant and safe. frank: right now, people don't know if they should book plans for the summer, business people don't know if they should expect people. usually this time of year, saginaw is raising funds for a firework show in july. will these events happen? what can you tell business people and consumers about whether or not they will be able to enjoy summer in michigan? all enjoyer: we will the summer in michigan. it will be a beautiful summer. the question is will we be able to congregate and enjoy it in a way we are used to? at this point, we cannot say definitively if we will be able
to do that. covid-19 is still present in michigan. 1000 people were detected to have it in the last 24 hours. we have lost almost 3800 michiganders to this disease. it is important we continue to be vigilant, safe, smart, making decisions based on the best science. it is hard. i don't people have made great sacrifice and i know what this means to our economy, to our traditions of summer festivals and fourth of july celebrations, and yet, if we take this seriously and do the right thing now, we will be able to do that at some point in the future. but we will let the science and the data direct when it is safe to reengage in ways like that. we can't let feelings or emotions trump what we know to
be the best practice and what the right thing to do is. we have to do the next right thing, and the next right thing right now is to stay in this state of emergency. the next right thing right now is to slowly engage, monitor, measure, make sure it is safe to take the next step and we will do that. we will get there. might not be as fast as we all want, but we will get there. i am grateful and inspired by the people continue to do your part and take this seriously. you are the reason we have flattened the curve. quick we have a couple of questions we want to get to. we received a lot of questions about camping, the dnr announced state managed campgrounds will remain closed until at least june 22. one person asks why camping is different than traveling to a second home because their
trailer is their second home? gov. whitmer: i appreciate the sentiment of the question. i know in this moment, a lot of things seem to not make sense. what i would say about the dnr's decision is when people camp, they often use the same facility. that is what the concern is. when people are together in close quarters, they are not able to practice social distancing and that is a concern about how covid-19 spreads. it is highly contagious. we are doing everything we can to mitigate the places in the number of opportunities people have to congregate. i grew up having gone to campgrounds. i know this is a family tradition and it is something that is about the outdoors, yet, we think in this moment of this global pandemic, this is
the right policy for now. our hope is by the end of june, we can start to engage in that wonderful past time, but we are going to have to make decisions based on what we are seeing in covid-19,he number of how would people have been diagnosed, how many hospitalizations we have seen in order to make a decision that we are confident will protect people's health. another big question at my house, sports. we will handed off to a special reporter. know when iike to can play sports with my friends again. angie: that nine-year-old wants to know when he can play sports with their friends again. what is your message to him and all of the other sports stars waiting to get back on the ballfield? sportsitmer: all of our
stars and sports fans, i know this is a part of our culture that we are not able to engage in right now. i just suggest that we be patient. i know he was asking about basketball. i hope you can continue to shoot when we home so that can play again, he is ready. these questions are really important, and physical activity is really important. but we still need to have that social distancing. what that timeline looks like it's going to be determined by how well everyone continues to do their part so we see those numbers go down, and then we can talk about what safely engaging in sports looks like again. there are some sports that don't have as much contact, and when you're playing with the same instruments, playing with the
same tools, the same sports paraphernalia like a basketball or a football, these are the things that we get concerned about, how we transfer germs to one another. i think we are really going to have to be thoughtful about how we let our kids reengage. the good news is we see the numbers moving the right way. we are able to take some smart steps now, and we hope to get all the way there so he can get back out with his buddies. angie: we have one more we need to get to. a lot of questions about not allowing golf carts. want to knowjeremy why they can't use a golf cart with only one person per cart. gov. whitmer: i appreciate the question, jeremy. pleasedre really when we started allowing golf again.
carts and the of a the echo, that is a way covid-19 spreads. even if there is only one person per cart, there is still touching from the people having to maintain those cards and other people using this carts. so far golf, when people are outside and carrying their bag or wheeling their bag behind them, it was a step towards trying to normalize in that particular realm. the cart just was one additional thing that would foster additional spread, and we thought it was the right decision right now. angie: we want to thank you, governor, forgiving our station and our viewers the opportunity to hear directly from you. before we sign off, we want to give you a few minutes for final words. gov. whitmer: thank you, and
thank you to the anchors. thank you for tuning in, to all of you at home. thank you for doing your part. this is a moment none of us could haven't dissipated. this is a moment that will forever have changed many lives in our state. there are a lot of people who are struggling right now, and if you know people who are and you can lend some support, please do. we have got to help one another and have one another's back right now. as we are navigating our next steps, we have to remember that avoiding a second wave is really important. we justt a switch that flip and life turns to the way it was before covid-19. we have to be really smart and think about this as a dial, where we take a step. we make sure people are safe, and then take the next step. we will continue to move forward. there will be light at the end of the tunnel, and we will get
through this, but it depends on all of us continuing to do our part. i simply want to say thank you for what you have done. we will help one another get through this moment, and i hope that you have a good night, that you stay engaged, you stay informed, and you continue to do your part, because you are the ones that are truly making a difference. ,our actions have save lives and together we will beat covid-19, and we will get through this. thank you. all forank you participating, and we thank aloe vera viewers for tuning into night and for submitting all of your questions. >> and we did receive thousands of them. we weren't able to get them all answered tonight, but we hope this special event provides important information see you can make informed decisions when it comes to your life, your health, and your family.
us, thank you so much for watching. thank you for doing your part. we hope that you have a great evening and stay safe. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] >> c-span's "washington journal ," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, we will talk about the u.s. response to the coronavirus with dr. sarah fortune, chair of the department of immunology and infectious disease at the harvard school of public health. and a discussion of racial disparities independent with national association president. "washington journal," live at
7:00 this morning. and be sure to watch sunday at 9:00 a.m. for a look back at the antiwar protest at kent state which erupted into a violent confrontation between students and the ohio national guard. all persons having business before the honorable supreme court of the united states are admonished to draw near and give their attention. the court is now sitting. >> for the first time in history, here the u.s. supreme court live. in may, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the court's hearing oral arguments in 10 cases by teleconference. c-span will provide live coverage of each of these sessions. first up come on monday at 10:00 a.m. eastern, justice is here the case of u.s. and patent trademark office versus booking.com. the case concerns the travel
to trademarkort its website. live, monday at 10:00 a.m. c-span,on www.c-span.org, or the free c-span radio app. president trump talked about the efforts to protect seniors during the coronavirus pandemic with the formation of a commission for safety and quality in nursing homes, which will convene in may. the president also took questions on whether he would pardon former national security advisor michael flynn. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states, accompanied by governor lee of