Gov. Whitmer Had One Foot Out The Door Auditioning To Be Biden’s Running Mate While Michigan Needed A Full-Time Governor Gov. Whitmer Had One Foot Out The Door Auditioning To Be Biden's Running Mate While Michigan Needed A Full-Time Governor - Michigan Rising Action

Gov. Whitmer Had One Foot Out The Door Auditioning To Be Biden’s Running Mate While Michigan Needed A Full-Time Governor

Gov. Whitmer Had One Foot Out The Door Auditioning To Be Biden’s Running Mate While Michigan Needed A Full-Time Governor

For months, while Michigan has battled COVID-19 and devastating unemployment, Gov. Whitmer has had one foot out the door as she’s eyed becoming VP.

August 11, 2020

Governor Gretchen Whitmer traveled to Delaware to meet with Joe Biden last weekend about the possibility of becoming his Vice Presidential nominee as he neared a decision, according to the Associated Press

Whitmer’s trip came after months of public posturing for the position through massive amounts of national media appearances while at the same time, Michigan suffered from an early surge of COVID-19 cases and deaths along with record unemployment.  

Here’s a quick recap of some of Whitmer’s leadership failures and policy items that deserved her attention while she was more focused on becoming Biden’s running mate. 

No Precautions Taken For Michigan’s Primary Election Despite Worried State Medical Executive 

On May 17, The Detroit News reported: “COVID-19 already had infected hundreds of Michiganians as U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden barnstormed the state in early March seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, according to state health department data.”

But in a New York Times profile, Whitmer revealed her Chief Medical Executive Joneigh Khaldun warned of possible cases of COVID-19 in Michigan in February – before the Presidential Primary and massive campaign events. 

Whitmer was undeterred and hit the campaign trail for former Vice President Joe Biden while Sanders held massive rallies across the state. 

No Bid COVID-19 Contract Handed To Democrat Campaign Vendors, Later Rescinded; Whitmer Admin Now Refusing To Cooperate With Auditor General 

Whitmer has faced backlash and questions after canceling a no-bid contract for COVID-19 contact tracing for a political consultant and Democrat data firm less than 24 hours after it was announced reported Crain’s Detroit Business and The Washington Post

Whitmer stated that her health department didn’t “have a political bone in their theoretical body” but emails later revealed the contract originated with a Whitmer political appointee who is the Detroit Mayor’s son and now works for Biden. 

The number one witness at the MDHHS is a former Obama appointee who would not cooperate with an Auditor General investigation a report revealed last week. 

Whitmer’s Dangerous Nursing Home Policies Continue 

At least one-third of Michigan’s COVID-19 deaths are attributed to nursing homes but could be much higher since the state still does not disclose data for other adult long-term care facilities. Whitmer’s policy of placing COVID-19 positive hospital patients into nursing home facilities with non-infected patients has drawn extensive criticism and bi-partisan legislation to end the policy, which Whitmer vetoed

The Traverse City Record-Eagle Editorial Board wrote: 
“Officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services seem to have stumbled, fumbled and bumbled their way through responses to infections in long-term care facilities. Heck, at one point, someone at MDHHS cooked up an idea to create a “hub” system that intentionally placed recovering COVID patients in empty wings of nursing homes jam-packed with people who are particularly likely to be killed by the disease.”

The Detroit News Editorial Board wrote: “We were hoping Gov. Gretchen Whitmer would work with the Legislature on an important bill that would have reversed the state’s dangerous nursing home policy. Yet she stubbornly refused to even consider it and vetoed the legislation Friday. This bipartisan bill would have stipulated that COVID-19-positive nursing home patients released from a hospital not be returned to their long-term care facility. Nor would positive patients be retained at their nursing home. Rather, they would have been placed in a dedicated facility where they could receive proper care without placing other residents at risk.” 

“Most Excessive Decrees” & “Vague, Undefined” Executive Orders 

In April, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board wrote: “the most excessive decrees have come from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.” Like many Michiganders, they were critical of Whitmer’s arbitrary and confusing orders, stating: “Under Gov. Whitmer’s order a Michigander can buy a bag of candy or a lottery ticket, but not a pack of seeds or a can of paint. He can enjoy a boat ride by himself or with his dog—but not if his boat has a motor. The logic of these seemingly arbitrary distinctions must elude most Americans.” 

Democrat Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel was also critical of the Governor’s shutdown and reopening orders. The prominent Democrat from Michigan’s premier swing county told The Detroit News that Whitmer’s executive orders “are pretty vague and undefined. All we hear from the governor’s office is they need more information, more data, and more testing before the state is completely opened up. But no one can say if they are looking for specific numbers. Or percentages. It’s frustrating.”

Unemployment Payment Problems For Laid Off Michiganders 

After a decade of job growth, Michigan once again has among the highest unemployment rates in the country topping out at 24% unemployed earlier this year. The figure remained high at 14.8% in June and what’s worse is that many Michiganders have yet to receive their unemployment payment benefits from the state. 

Several news outlets have reported on the struggle of Michiganders out of work to collect unemployment insurance from Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) and lawmakers have called for the resignation of Whitmer’s appointee leading the organization. 

Frustration continues as Michiganders struggle to apply for unemployment amid COVID-19 pandemic (WDIV
‘Frustrating’: Some unemployment disputes drag on (WOOD-TV
Michigan lawmakers demand ouster at unemployment agency (The Detroit News

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan recently brought charges against a UIA contractor worker who is accused of stealing $2 million in unemployment funds while thousands continue to await their payment and the agency fails to meet its own goal of answering 35,000 calls a day. Michigan’s unemployment offices remain closed while Whitmer has allowed Detroit casinos and other state offices like the Secretary of State to reopen. 

For months, while Michigan has battled COVID-19 and devastating unemployment, Gov. Whitmer has had one foot out the door as she’s eyed becoming VP. Michiganders need a governor that’s focused on Michigan, not their political future. Now that Biden decided not to pick Whitmer, it’s our hope she can turn her attention to the critical issues facing Michigan. Tori Sachs, executive director of Michigan Rising Action.

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