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Whitmer On COVID Anniversary: 'We’ll Beat This Damn Virus'

Michigan Executive Office of the Governor

There have been more than 601-thousand confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan over the past year, and more than 15-thousand-700 confirmed deaths.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered an address Wednesday – exactly one year after the first cases were identified in the state.

The governor said the past 12 months have brought surprises and difficulties – the worst being the separation, sickness, and lives lost to COVID-19.

But Whitmer said, with three vaccines being distributed, the end is in sight.

“We in Michigan have been tested and we are tough,” she said. “Together I know we’ll beat this damn virus and rebuild our economy and our communities back stronger than ever before.”

The governor said she wants to work with the Legislature on another COVID relief bill after using line-item vetoes to thwart an effort to restrict her emergency powers.

“I stand ready to work across the aisle to get things done for Michigan’s families and small businesses as we work to pass a budget and spend the federal relief dollars headed our way,” she said.

The address – which was delivered remotely with no journalists present or allowed to ask questions – occurred on the same day the state House adopted a bill to restore the vetoes.

Republican majorities in the House and the Senate are not substantial enough to muster the super-majorities necessary to override the vetoes.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) said in a radio interview this week that he expects the bill to be sent to the governor’s desk soon.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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