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Whitmer: Bulk of Economy is Back; Still Early Stages Of COVID-19

September 15, 2020

Pointing to her strategy to confront the COVID crisis, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce Wednesday that “our economy is operating at 87% of what it was since last March. We are in a much stronger position than other states like Florida and Texas.”

It’s the first time she has used that figure as she also told the business executives that Michigan ranks seventh in the nation on the economic scale, according to the former chief economist for former U.S. Sen. John McCain and reported on CNN Business
 
“We have seen people enter the work force (again) because of our hard work and aggressive action and it is paying off because of it,” she noted. 
 
Also, the Governor foresees a second wave of the virus down the road which, she argued, underscores the even greater need for her to hang onto that authority. 
 
She countered the GOP lawmakers who want to eliminate that, saying, “It puts us in a much weaker position when we have a second wave which we know, if you’ve studied a little bit about the history of pandemics, that’s probably something we’re going to confront.” 
 
As for the decision on all this from the state’s highest court, “we feel good it will likely be upheld again” as her authority was upheld at both the district and appellate court levels. 
 
Whitmer also said that we’re still in the early stages of COVID-19 and that progress made against the virus will depend a lot on when a vaccine comes out and how it’s distributed. 
 
Whitmer made the comments to Daniel Loepp, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, during a virtual session of MPC20 Conversations, which serves as the digital alternative to the canceled Mackinac Policy Conference this year. 
 
On other topics, Whitmer said her administration is still in negotiations with the Legislature over the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget, which starts Oct. 1. She again called on Congress to approve another round of COVID recovery funds.  
 
According to a Senate spokesperson, “targets,” or the amount of money designated for each department, have not been sent. 
 
The Governor also said that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is the leader the nation needs in the White House right now, when asked by Loepp about the presidential race.

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