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Whitmer Defends Loosening COVID Restrictions as Michigan Sees Increase in Cases

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) believes her state can combat COVID-19 using masks and vaccines without reinstating restrictions.

CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked Whitmer if it was a “mistake” to roll back restrictions as she noted cases began to rise earlier this month.

“A year ago we didn’t know a whole lot about this virus. Even in the fall, we didn’t have vaccines available. Now we have three safe and effective vaccines. Our experience with COVID is very different than it has been over the last 12 months,” Whitmer said.

She explained, “That being said, we have to keep watching these numbers. We have to keep doing our part, masking up, washing our hands, social distancing. These are all incredibly important.”

Whitmer argued Michigan was “really aggressive” and kept COVID numbers down. She also claimed the state saved “a lot of lives” between the beginning of the pandemic and when vaccines became available.

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“Low numbers mean that when you have an increase, you do see 50% increases from 3% to 6% but, still, that 3% was a lot lower than a lot of the rest of the country,” Whitmer said.

She added, “When other states go from 15% down to [14%], it looks like they’ve had a great positive trend. So I think that perspective is really important. You really have to dig into the data to understand what’s happening.”

Camerota noted hospitalizations are on the rise in Michigan and asked Whitmer if she would consider reinstating the restrictions.

Whitmer reiterated it is crucial residents of the state wear masks and get the vaccine.

“We’re going gangbusters on the vaccines and that’s where people need to have their personal responsibility — following the protocol and getting themselves vaccinated,” the governor explained.

According to The New York Times, Michigan has experienced an average of 5,362 cases per day over the past week, a 127% increase from the average two weeks prior.

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