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Sen. Barrett, With Positive COVID-19 Test, Still Backs Repeal Of Gov Powers

Tom Barrett photo
Courtesy photo
Sen. Tom Barrett has tested positive for the Coronavirus.

A Michigan State Senate Republican says he still supports repealing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency powers. That’s despite his recent diagnosis for COVID-19.

Twenty-fourth district Sen. Tom Barrett was tested on Friday as part of the Michigan National Guard’s screening in advance of his Guard unit’s summer training, and he was notified of a positive Coronavirus result on Sunday. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield announced the cancelation of committees and sessions this week.

Barrett has been a vocal critic of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s use of executive orders to close businesses and require masks. He says he’ll continue to promote the Unlock Michigan petition campaign to repeal the 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act Whitmer has operated under. “We are a self-governed society made up of a representative democracy, with three branches of government," Barrett states. "That’s true today, and it was true yesterday, and three days ago before I had this positive coronavirus test.”

The Senator says he was not involved in the decision to cancel House and Senate sessions this week following his diagnosis. He explains “I assume some of that decision was made just because people get tested who may have been around me at different points in time the last week or two, we wouldn’t have all those test results back by the end of this week anyway, so I think they probably want to err on the side of caution and take reasonable measures.”

Barrett says his wife Ashley was tested for Coronavirus on Monday, but does not know when results will come in. He has not had his three children tested. The Senator says he’s feeling good, other than some fatigue.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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