With nearly 6,900 new covid-19 cases and 74 new deaths on Saturday, Michigan currently has the highest rate of infection in the United States, the Associated Press reports. In an effort to curb those alarming stats, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is now calling on residents of her state to exercise “personal responsibility” rather than order schools and restaurants to shut down as she did last year.
“Policy alone won’t change the tide,” she told the AP. “We need everyone to step up and to take personal responsibility.” The governor added that she requested additional vaccine doses from the federal government to assist in slowing the spread of the virus, a strategy that Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist argued in favor of during a recent CNN appearance, but was turned down.
It’s understandable, to a degree, why Whitmer would want to avoid mandating closures like she did last year, considering all the violent threats (and a kidnapping plot!) she had to endure after doing so last year. But the approach she has chosen, one that could have been “lifted from the playbook of a Republican elected official,” per The New York Times, just seems so useless. It might help to improve her reputation among the GOP members of Michigan’s state legislature, but I’m not sure her actions will help anyone else.