News Story

If Not Numbers, What Drives Whitmer’s COVID Policies?

The same caseloads that triggered November lockdowns get no response in April

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have often appeared inconsistent and arbitrary.

For example, the governor’s written policies prescribe business lockdowns when certain state caseload thresholds are reached. On Nov. 15, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services ordered lockdowns of high schools, school sports, restaurants, movie theaters and various activities due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. An order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services stated the following:

“The State of Michigan presently has a seven-day average of 512 cases per million people, which is five times higher than the case rate on October 1. Test positivity has increased from 3.2% in early October to 12% on November 13. And while testing has increased 78% since October 1, test positivity has increased 225% during that same time frame, indicating COVID-19 spread is happening much more quickly than tests being administered. All regions in Michigan are now at the highest risk level, with a seven-day average in excess of 150 cases per million.”

Yet as of April 5, Michigan’s current seven-day average case level is 534 per million, with a “test positivity” rate of 15%, with at least 200 cases per million in every region of the state.

Nevertheless, the governor recently and repeatedly said she is not considering taking similar actions today.

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.