Governor Whitmer on the wait to reopen Michigan and her TV appearances

The Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Tuesday that for the states that don't fully reopen like Michigan, we are looking at permanent damage to the economy. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined us 1-on-1 to talk about that and other topics.

FOX 2: "When you hear that, what goes through your mind?"

Whitmer: "What goes through my mind is knowing that we have to make decisions based on science and epidemiology, and not on what one interview that someone is doing. We know that a second wave could be more economically devastating than what we just went through. And that's why every step we take is to mitigate the possibility of a second wave.  We have to be really smart about re-engaging the lowest risk activities first." 

FOX 2: "You talk a lot about the health data.  The people watching are looking at data that has to do with their small businesses and they can't keep their heads above water.  They're saying these restrictions are too tight and they can't survive."

Whitmer: "We are moving as fast as we think it is safe to and there's always that determination, that we have to continue to watch the numbers - hospitalizations, positive tests, recovery numbers as well as numbers of people who have not made it. We are making decisions in real time that are supported by the facts. I know it's frustrating and I know a lot of people have a lot of anxiety. They want to go back to work, they want to go back to their businesses and yet we really need to stay tethered to best practices and making decisions that will protect us from a second wave."

FOX 2: "Governor, for these businesses it's do or die. They can't wait weeks and months.  They keep hearing about decisions that will be made. Can you give them something specific about a timeline of when you'll make a decision?" 

Whitmer: "I think you will know more in the coming days. You will know more before we enter that stage. I will continue to share that information that we are looking at. We will continue to promulgate the best practices. Every business owner, I hope, is getting familiar with those best practices. You can go to the (Labor and Economic Opportunity) website, you can go to the state coronavirus website, you can go to Business Leaders of Michigan website, and start getting ready. So that when it is safe to re-engage, you have the protocols and you can redesign your workplace to ensure that people can stay safe because we want you to be successful."

Governor Whitmer says the concept of expansive outdoor seating, sometimes spilling onto the streets is something she's considering to reopen restaurants.  It is something California and Cincinnati, Ohio are already doing.  

FOX 2: "Is this something we can do? Close the streets in Plymouth and Birmingham in Rochester and do what these other cities have done and open the street up to seating?"

Whitmer: "I think so, I think that is a smart way of moving forward, doing smaller numbers but doing it outside, so people are safe, starting to explore what this might look like."

FOX 2: "You have been appearing on a lot of national TV shows - the Today Show this morning, late night talk shows, all of this while Joe Biden is considering you for a vice president spot. Some critics out there are mad about that."

Whitmer: "I am always going to take invitations to talk to the national media about what is happening in Michigan and to get more assistance for the state of Michigan. That's a part of my job and I will always take those opportunities but the fact of the matter is my first, foremost and all of my energy has been focused on the state of Michigan and getting through this."

The Governor is also talking about President Trump's visit to Michigan on Thursday. 

Whitmer: "I am hopeful that the Speaker of the House will convey to him how important that fourth supplemental bill is for the state of Michigan because it really needs to be all hands on deck."