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In response to growing COVID-19 cases, Whitmer activates the Michigan National Guard

two national guard members move pallets of supplies
Sgt. James Bennett
Michigan National Guard

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has activated the Michigan National Guard to help deliver medical supplies to local health departments as they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is part of the state’s response to the evolving health crisis that Wednesday claimed its first life in Michigan.

"This is a very serious situation. As the situation continues to develop, we expect more cases and unfortunately, we expect more fatalities,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s Chief Medical Executive, said.

Governor Whitmer also signed an order that makes a temporary change to Michigan’s Open Public Meetings act to allow local officials to make plans without face-to-face contact. Whitmer also extended the deadline for people to pay back taxes in order to avoid foreclosure during the health crisis.

“We are taking every measure we can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and protect Michigan families, but recognize that public bodies still have an obligation to conduct business as usual,” Whitmer said in a press release. “During this crisis, we must ensure that public officials can do their job to meet the needs of residents, while also ensuring that meetings remain open, accessible and transparent to the public.”  

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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