A few updates:
I’ve heard from numerous business owners over the last couple days who have expressed concern regarding their sudden requirement to enforce the Governor’s mask order. Further, we’re now hearing police departments across the state will not be enforcing mask violations due to personnel shortages and mounting calls for a number of other issues.
I find it troubling that our Governor decided to threaten our business owners’ licenses and impose misdemeanor penalties for those who are in violation. This order is unclear and nearly impossible for business owners to reasonably enforce, putting businesses who are already struggling in an even worse situation. We are now four months into this pandemic and deaths and hospitalizations are significantly lower than they were before. The sudden decision to force businesses to enforce a mask order is misguided and puts workers in even great danger, especially at a time where mental health issues are on the rise. It was shown today with the terrible events that transpired at the Quality Dairy in Delta Township.
The responses we’ve seen from police departments across the state also make it abundantly clear that law enforcement was not consulted when this decision was made.
For those of you who are asking what the Legislature is doing in response, we are still awaiting a hearing in regard to our lawsuit. That hasn’t slowed the progress the Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic has made in their examination of the state’s response to the pandemic, however. In a report from the Chairman of the committee, it was found that the Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity (LEO), the department in which the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is housed under, still does not have a return to work safety plan. Because of this, UIA regional offices cannot be reopened. While state employees were able to cut the line for unemployment benefits, thousands of private-sector workers still have not received theirs after months of waiting. A summary from Chairman Matt Hall can be found here: https://youtu.be/Hxt3rlLc8So
The committee also heard from the owners of two companies – Med Source 1 and Platinum Global Sourcing. We learned both companies actively tried to contract with the state to provide PPE, both with millions of items at a competitive price, yet the state never returned their calls. These companies worked with local agencies in Michigan and even Henry Ford Health System, yet the state said we couldn’t get supplies.
Lastly, most of us have heard about the prevalence of COVID-19 in Michigan’s nursing homes. Tomorrow morning, I will be hearing testimony on a bill in the House Health Policy Committee that will prohibit the transfer of COVID-19 positive patients to nursing homes from another facility. This is a very important step in getting this pandemic under control.
Rep. Hall on Covid-19 Task Force findings.