Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced she would begin reopening parts of the state’s economy on Friday — the decision coming amid armed protests outside her home and the threat of a mutiny by state lawmakers.
Whitmer signed a new executive order extending the Wolverine State’s stay-home order by another two weeks until May 15, but eased some other restrictions, which have been met with rancorous protests.
“The new executive order will allow some workers who perform lower risk activities to go back on the job,” Whitmer said at a Friday morning press conference, including occupations such as landscaping.
“We will consider this the preliminary stage of economic re-engagement. We will measure, we will collect data, we will continue to ramp up testing and tracing and we will make informed decisions in coming days about potential further re-engagement,” she continued.
Activities such as golfing and boating are back on the table, while people will be able to travel between their homes, a previously outlawed activity that incensed Michiganders.
Restaurants and bars will remain closed while all travel continues to be banned.
Michigan has been the third-hardest-hit state by the coronavirus virus, recording nearly 3,000 deaths and more than 35,000 cases.
But the state’s restrictive stay-home orders sparked angry protests by residents who said the order was not only a violation of their constitutional liberties but also a wrecking ball to small businesses.
Whitmer, a Democrat, has faced fierce backlash from President Trump and the state’s Republican lawmakers — with Trump calling for Michigan to be ‘liberated’ as some states look to reopen ahead of time.
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