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A month after Whitmer request, still no Biden approval for presidential disaster declaration in Gaylord

‘The president ultimately makes the final decision,’ a FEMA spokesman said

Almost a month after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asked President Joe Biden for an emergency declaration due to the May 20 tornado in Gaylord, that request still hasn’t been granted, reports the Traverse City Record-Eagle. Whitmer made her request on June 8.

At one point in 2020, Whitmer was widely considered as a potential running mate for Biden. That job went instead to Kamala Harris, then a senator from California.

Over the last year, the Biden-Whitmer relationship seems to have frayed publicly.

Whitmer did attend Biden’s inauguration. And early in his tenure, after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, Michigan was among the greatest suppliers of National Guard personnel at the Capitol. As The Detroit News reported at the time, at one point, Michigan supplied 20% of the National Guard force there.

But after reports that the National Guard was served bad food, Whitmer visited D.C. personally.

“They’ve got to fix it,” Whitmer said of the military, of which Biden is commander-in-chief.

By November 2021, Whitmer managed to be clear across the country, in California, when Biden visited Southeast Michigan. Biden was in Detroit to tout the opening of GM’s Factory Zero. It was a big day for Official Michigan and its auto industry. And the governor wasn’t there.

Now, a month and a half after the tornado and nearly a month after Whitmer’s very public request for a presidential disaster declaration, she and Gaylord are still waiting. Whitmer has requested “individual assistance” for those who need it, according to the Record-Eagle.

“The president ultimately makes the final decision,” FEMA spokesman Dan Shulman told the paper.

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.