LANSING, Mich. (Great Lakes News) – Michigan will fully reopen on Tuesday, June 22, one week ahead of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s original goal of July 1st.
“Today is a day that we have all been looking forward to, as we can safely get back to normal day-to-day activities and put this pandemic behind us,” said Gov. Whitmer.
Michigan’s COVID-19 policies, shutdowns, and extended pauses have been some of the strictest in the nation, with Michigan being an outlier for months regarding restaurant capacities and mask mandates.
On May 7, Whitmer announced her “MI Vacc to Normal Plan” which tied the state’s full reopening to COVID-19 vaccination numbers. The original four-tiered plan would lift all mandates once 70 percent of Michigan’s eligible population received their vaccine.
Several weeks later on May 20, Whitmer accelerated that plan. That order marked June 1 and July 1 as metric dates that saw increased gathering sizes and no mask requirements outdoors, but still forced restaurants and bars to operate at 50 percent capacity until the July 1 date.
Whitmer has faced growing criticism of her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. She unilaterally extended the 28 day emergency in April without the approval of the legislature and continued to issue orders on her own.
On October 2, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court struck down the 1945 law Whitmer used as the basis of her continuing executive orders. Three days later, Whitmer ignored the high court’s ruling, opting to funnel her executive orders through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Whitmer cited an obscure 1918 Spanish flu law to maintain her power.
A June 8th, 2021 Breitbart article reported that Whitmer’s job approval rating had fallen 7.8 percentage points from February, leaving it hovering at 50 percent.