News Story

Michigan, National, Worldwide COVID Trends Look Similar

How big a role does policy play?

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has repeatedly cited Oct. 2 as the start of a spike in COVID-19 cases in Michigan. That’s the day the Michigan Supreme Court ruled her pandemic executive orders were unlawful and unconstitutional.

The governor has also implied that the increase in new cases was due to state residents not following orders from the state health department.

Whitmer made reference to that when the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services banned restaurants and bars from offering in-service seating, effective Nov. 18.

“That’s why these next three weeks are so crucial,” Whitmer said Nov. 19. “We flattened the curve in the spring by listening to our public health and medical experts. We can do this again. You have the power to help us push this curve down. Every one of us has the power to make choices that will contribute to that. It’s going to take all of us working together.”

But this account has been challenged by similar spikes in COVID-19 numbers nationally and all across the world, according to

The similarities across many political jurisdictions and societies raises question about how much impact government policies and leaders, or individual behaviors, have on the spread of the virus.

Canada saw 2,124 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 2. On Nov. 29 that number had grown to 5,468.

Like Michigan, Canada experienced a spike of cases in April that flattened during the summer and skyrocketed in the fall.

Many countries have seen the same pattern of confirmed case increases since Oct. 2.

Russia had 9,412 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 2 and 26,683 on Nov. 29.

Italy had 2,498 new coronavirus cases on Oct. 2 and 20,647 on Nov. 29.

In the U.S., the national rate of infection looks very much like Michigan’s.

The U.S. had 52,381 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 2 and 144,727 on Nov. 29.

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.