9 Key Takeaways From Michigan Governor’s COVID-19 Briefing

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer held another COVID-19 briefing Tuesday (Dec. 15) to update the way the state is dealing with the virus.

You can watch the full briefing in the video above.

Whitmer was joined by Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Here are the top nine main takeaways from the brief.

Whitmer believes the state’s stricter COVID-19 rules, which were extended until next week, are successfully delaying the spread of the virus.

“The department has issued this injunction to keep our hospitals from becoming overwhelming, so we can protect the brave women and men who are serving on the front lines of this crisis, so we can protect our small businesses that want to stay open and can We, of course, slow the spread of COVID-19, “Whitmer said.” The good news is we’re making progress. It works. “

Whitmer said the number of COVID-19 cases in the state is declining, and the dip correlates with the day the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued its three-week “hiatus”.

“Simply put, what we do is work,” said Whitmer.

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Whitmer said she expects the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to be approved with the Pfizer vaccine in the next week.

“Over the weekend, the first shipments of the FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine departed from Portage, Michigan,” Whitmer said. “We expect the Moderna vaccine to be approved in the next week.”

“Doctors have asked which vaccine they should take? And his answer is to take the vaccine that is available to you. It doesn’t matter which one – the Pfizer or the Moderna, or maybe others that come online. These are safe and effective. “

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Khaldun took a deep dive into the facts about the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, including how effective the vaccines are, when everyone can expect them, and possible side effects.

Here are a few highlights:

  • The vaccine cannot actually give someone the virus. It only shares a specific code with the body to help it recognize and fight the virus.
  • Michigan hopes to be able to offer the vaccine to the general public by the end of spring 2021.
  • Some people get mild side effects from the vaccine, such as a mild fever, arm pain, or tiredness. That means the body builds up its response to fight the virus.

Click here to read all 17 facts.

Nessel outlined four specific types of COVID-19 vaccine scams circulating in the state and explained how they target residents.

  • Promises to get the vaccine very soon.
  • So-called treatments including pills, herbal teas or essential oils.
  • Personal testimonials given in lieu of scientific evidence about one vaccine versus another.
  • Social media posts, texts or emails about qualifying for clinical trials claiming you can make money.

“Advertisers offer thousands of dollars to participate, but then what they do is they ask you for money or ask you for personal information in advance, and then they add a link that allows you to download a pamphlet. Or whatever. , which then opens the door to malware on any device you use, ”said Nessel.

Click here to read more about this scam.

Whitmer continues to push for bipartisan support for COVID-19 restrictions, saying 2,000 residents have died from the virus since she sent a letter to lawmakers three weeks ago.

She said she asked the Michigan legislature to take action three weeks ago.

“In the three weeks since I sent that letter, nearly 2,000 Michiganders have died from COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “That’s 2,000 people who were parents or grandparents or children and loved ones, people who were taken too soon.

At that time, the legislature was unfortunately only in session for six days. They have not taken any action against these measures. We cannot afford to wait any longer. “

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Whitmer says she is ready to sign a $ 100 million economic stimulus plan to help families and small businesses grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

She is calling on the Republican-led legislature to work with her on the plan.

“Yesterday I sent another letter to the legislature urging them to work with me on priorities such as $ 100 million in COVID-19 aid,” Whitmer said. “We know this virus is hurting our people, our businesses.”

“We here in Michigan need to go a step further and take action. I’m ready to sign a bill, so it’s critical for the legislature to find common ground and approve a targeted state-based economic stimulus plan of up to $ 100 million to provide direct financial Provide support to the families and small businesses that have been hit hardest by this pandemic. “

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For the second time this month, Whitmer asked state lawmakers for a permanent extension of unemployment benefits because of COVID-19.

“I also need them to remember to pass on a permanent unemployment benefit extension,” Whitmer said. “I appreciate the extension of Senate unemployment benefits to 26 weeks through March, but we really need to work together to make a permanent extension to protect the countless Michiganders and their livelihoods.”

Whitmer said thousands of Michiganders are in danger of losing their benefits by the end of the year.

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Three of the key COVID-19 statistics show positive signs that Michigan is heading in the right direction, the state’s chief medical executive said.

Khaldun said the number of cases, hospitalizations and positivity are all on the decline.

Michigan currently has 560 cases per million people, a number that has been on a downward trend for 22 days in a row, Khaldun said. The number of cases for all eight geographic regions is declining, she said.

In total, 18.5% of hospital beds in the state have COVID-19 patients, which has also declined, according to Khaldun.

The percentage of statewide COVID-19 tests that return positive has fallen to 12.3%, Khaldun said. That number has been falling for seven days in a row.

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Hank Winchester from Local 4 asked Whitmer about restaurants. At the moment, they are limited to fulfill and delivery orders as in-house dining is closed until at least December 20th.

“We know our restaurants are in pain right now, and it’s not their fault that COVID-19 has spread so far and wide across the country and our state,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer said she believes once 2021 comes around, each month will get better than the next.

“The weather is getting warmer,” Whitmer said. “We get an administration that is really focused on a national strategy around COVID-19. All these things are reasons to be very optimistic about 2021. “

A poll released Tuesday showed that one-third of restaurant owners don’t believe they can go on like this for another six months. They find that the COVID-19 restrictions are inconsistent, that people are allowed to go to malls or supermarkets, but not restaurants.

“There is a ban on indoor dining, and I think as far as these restaurants see that happening in other areas – that’s a shame,” Whitmer said. “We know this virus passes through the breath easily, and that’s why (indoor dining is turned off).”

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