Michigan Republicans Continue Year-Long Sidelining of Common Sense Solutions to Combat COVID-19 in Favor of Hyperpartisan Obstruction and Hypocrisy

LANSING — Governor Whitmer has taken life-saving action, fought to stop the spread of COVID-19, and her Vacc to Normal program that not only achieved but surpassed its goal of getting 70% of Michiganders vaccinated. Rather than join this major effort, Republicans at all levels continued to reject science and push anti-vaccine conspiracy theories rather than encourage their communities to do their part to combat this pandemic and save lives. 

Earlier this year, the Republican-controlled legislature attached extreme poison pills to $1.5 billion in funding that would’ve made it impossible for local health departments to react to pandemic data and take measures to blunt the pandemic. 

And as schools reopened in-person for the fall, state Senate Republicans rammed through a slate of pro-COVID bills that aimed to bar local districts from implementing smart mask and vaccine policis. Republican lawmakers also threatened to defund any local health department that already had a mask policy in place. 

Within the chamber, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey got caught cooking the books on COVID-19 data in order to fit an anti-vaxx narrative and discourage adherence to public safety guidelines. He still refuses to get vaccinated, saying that he’s “got immunity now” after contracting COVID-19 and advocated for a “herd immunity” strategy arguing that people should just learn to “live with the virus.”

Now, the same party that called the governor tyrannical for stepping up to make tough but critical life-saving decisions during the height of the pandemic are now brazenly attacking her for the consequences of their obstructive actions.

MDP Chair Lavora Barnes issued the following statement:

“From launching an effort to limit Governor Whitmer’s ability to respond to COVID-19 or any other public health crisis, to bullying local health departments and school districts into dropping their smart mask policies, to actively flaunting their sustained unvaccinated status and propagating anti-vaxx conspiracy theories, Michigan Republicans have done everything in their power to bring about the heart wrenching consequences of listening to their lies. 

At every turn of this pandemic, they have clearly demonstrated that hyperpartisan obstruction to Governor Whitmer will always be paramount. Michigan Republicans will continue to ignore science, politicize the outcome of their callous hypocrisy, and refuse to lift a finger to motivate their base to stop the spread and save lives.”

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