‘Economic destruction could have and should have been avoided’
LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, delivered the following statement from the Senate floor Wednesday regarding the economic destruction the governor’s decisions have caused in his district:
“Last week I shared the story of a family-owned business in my district — the Big Cat Brewery — that announced it was permanently closing its doors. The Brewery is in Leelanau County, which has had a total of 11 COVID-19 cases and no deaths.
“Sadly, this is far from the only such story in my district. The Vitro Glass factory was Evart’s second biggest employer, until it also recently announced its permanent closure and the loss of 125 jobs.
“Now, 34 days after Senate Republicans first urged our governor to take into account the different experiences of different parts of our state with this virus, she has finally done so. Unfortunately, her long-delayed action is raising as many questions and concerns as her inaction did.
“After our governor’s announcement yesterday, the following counties will remain closed this weekend: Mason County, with 27 cases and zero deaths; Lake County, with three cases and zero deaths; Ogemaw County, with 18 cases and zero deaths; and Osceola County, the former home of Vitro Glass, with 10 cases and zero deaths.
“The people of Michigan are frustrated. They’re scared. And they’re suffering. And a lack of transparency and clarity from our governor is only compounding the problem.
“Why are Mason, Lake, Osceola and Ogemaw counties closed while many of their neighbors will open this weekend? Where is the data to support these decisions? Do any communities in any of our districts have an understanding of how close or how far away they are from reopening?
“This week, the mayor of Detroit announced he believes the city is ready to reopen. Wayne County has had nearly 20,000 COVID-19 cases. And maybe they are ready to reopen — the mayor certainly knows his city better than I do. But if Detroit is ready, how are Mason, Lake, Ogemaw and Osceola counties and their 58 combined cases not ready?
“COVID-19 has devastated parts of our state. But for others, the devastation — real devastation — has been economic, not medical. And while Monday’s announcement by our governor was a long-overdue small step forward for some parts of our state, others remain in a state of economic destruction that could have and should have been avoided.