LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Republicans who control Michigan’s Legislature say they will meet Friday to pass a bill to control Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency force and form a committee to oversee the country’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, a dramatic attack against Democrats amid a health crisis.
A spokesman for Whitmer promised a veto and said Republicans “played dangerous partisan games” while the governor focused on saving lives and controlling the spread of the virus.
Republicans are not happy with the extent of orders to stay at Whitmer’s house, although polls show the public believes he made the right call. He is expected to extend it more than 30 April but with modifications.
“Unfortunately life has been lost in our country. Many people suffer. Livelihoods have been destroyed, and much freedom has been lost. Frankly, we deserve better, “said House Chat Lee Chatfield from Levering on social media.
The cap could explode into a legal fight next week because one state law gives the governor broad authority to unilaterally declare an emergency or disaster, while another requires input from the Legislature to prolong an emergency or disaster. In issuing orders to stay at home, Whitmer has quoted both of these laws.
The governor “will not sign a bill that will reduce his ability to protect the citizens of this deadly disease that has killed thousands of people in Michigan,” Whitmer spokesman Tiffany Brown said.
Democratic lawmakers criticized the decision to convene. One councilor died because his family suspect was COVID-19, while two others were infected.
“This session calls for a tone-deaf resolution that ignores that we are still very much in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and pushes forward the mistaken narrative of mistrust in our governor’s response which will ultimately cost more lives,” House Minority Leader Christine Greig from Farmington Hills said in a statement.
The number of confirmed cases in Michigan rose 4% to almost 35,300. Deaths increased from 164 to 2,977, although 55 reported Thursday could have occurred a few days or weeks ago.
The number of infections is considered to be much higher because many people have not been tested, and research shows people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
The Henry Ford Health System in southeast Michigan says the number of COVID-19 patients has fallen below 500 this week for the first time in almost a month. That’s 752 at its peak on April 7.
Beaumont Health, which has eight hospitals, said it had 703 COVID-19 patients, down 42% since its peak.
Michigan ever 134,000 new submissions for unemployment assistance last week, increased the number of initial claims to almost 1.2 million over five weeks. This is equivalent to 25% unemployment, although not everyone will be eligible for benefits.
More than $ 1.3 billion has been paid to 820,000 people so far, the country said.
The Michigan Supreme Court adjourned all jury trials in the state until June 22. The court also told state court administrators to find ways to hold long-distance trials.
“To our knowledge, no judge in this country has ever presided over long-distance jury trials, and these pilots will help us determine what ‘remote jury trials’ mean in practice,” administrator Tom Boyd said in a memo.
A Canadian nurse allowed to cross the border to work in Michigan was arrested with 153 pounds (69 kilograms) of marijuana in the trunk of his car, authorities said.
Terri Maxwell, 48, was arrested Wednesday at the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit. The US-Canada border is limited to health care workers, commercial trucks, and tourists who are considered important during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Smuggling in cannabis is of no importance,” said US Attorney General Matthew Schneider.
Maxwell remained in custody until Friday’s detention hearing. There are no lawyers registered in court records.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including an overview of COVID-19 from the CDC, details of cases in Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s timetable since the outbreak, coronavirus impact in Southeast Michigan, and links to further information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and WHO.
See a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
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