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Despite Reopening, Republicans Will Continue To Question Whitmer COVID Orders

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Almost all COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan will be lifted Tuesday, but that won’t put an end to arguments in Lansing about how the crisis was handled and what should happen next.

Republican lawmakers say the decision is overdue and that the Legislature will continue its inquiries into the administration’s handling of COVID, including restrictions on gatherings and businesses.

“What was the goal, actually?” asked Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake). “Was the goal to reach a level of science- and medical-based immunity? Or was the goal to reach some artificial level of number of shots? That question is still unanswered.”

At the same time, bargaining continues between Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the GOP-controlled Legislature over recovery plans and how to use federal COVID funds, said Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist.

“You know, these things, raising wages, childcare, support for small businesses – this is how we’re going to really jump start our economic activity in Michigan and really get things back rolling again,” he said.

Gilchrist also says it’s still critical to continue the work to reduce racial and economic disparities in healthcare. He says those were made more obvious during the 15 months of the pandemic.

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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