News Story

Epidemic Report Gives Governors High Marks For Good Faith, Whitmer ‘D’ For Performance

Five got an F, 15 governors got a D

A report card released May 4 by a coalition of libertarian and limited-government individuals and groups gave Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a D grade for her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report was published by the Committee To Unleash Prosperity and Freedom Works.

Receiving an F were the governors of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, and the Washington D.C. mayor.

Whitmer was grouped with 14 other governors given a D.

Of the 19 governors and Washington, DC. mayor that were given a D or an F, two were Republicans.

“The reality is that there are very negative health consequences to economic lockdowns and 'stay-at-home' orders,” the report stated.

“We believe that every governor is making a good faith effort to weigh the risks of the health of their citizens versus the economic well being of their state,” the report stated. “No governor wants to impoverish their citizens. No governor wants to see any of their citizens get ill or even die. In this study, we don’t get into the motives of governors – we assume their motives are pure. But these decisions they are making today will have long-lasting consequences for the economic opportunities and the prosperity of their citizens for many years to come.”

The report says it takes into account the severity of the virus in each state and the need to protect the safety of residents.

As of 5 p.m. on May 4, Michigan had 43,754 confirmed cases of COVID-19. That was seventh-highest in the country. Michigan had 4,049 deaths linked to the coronavirus. That was fourth-highest in the country.

The report stated that it examined lockdown orders, business closures, hospital and outdoor activity orders, “and the degree of punitive actions on enforcing these measures.”

The most important measurement was the start date for reopening in each state.

“The evidence is very strong that states with late start dates will have much more severe recessions than states that open earlier,” the report stated.

Whitmer has repeatedly stated that her decisions were based on science and to protect Michigan's residents.

“Although we are beginning to see the curve flatten, we are not out of the woods yet. We must all continue to be diligent, observe social distancing and limit in-person interactions and services to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said in a recent press release. “Michigan now has more than 40,000 cases of COVID-19. The virus has killed more Michiganders than we lost during the Vietnam war. Extending this order is vital to the health and safety of every Michigander. If we work together and do our part, we can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.