Mayor Duggan brings back COVID updates as cases rise, vaccinations remain low

Mayor Mike Duggan spoke Thursday in Detroit, just one day after federal agents raided City Hall and the homes of two council members to discuss the pandemic and how the city is working to get more vaccines out.

Duggan said he's bringing back COVID-19 updates as the city's infection rate is rising but the vaccination rate remains low.

"We are about to start to get back in the habit, unfortunately, of doing Covid updates," Duggan said.

Detroit Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair said the number of cases confirmed each day has doubled in just a few weeks.

"And it’s below the rate that we need to achieve immunity of 70%. Roughly 100 Detroiters every day are getting Covid. This is up from just a few weeks ago when we were getting about 50 cases per day," Fair said.

The city is once again pushing its vaccination program with access beyond the TCF Center for those with a compromised immune system who are now eligible for the third shot.

"Starting today (Thursday), if you got your first two Moderna or Pfizer shot at least 6 months ago you can go to any of our 10 community locations," Duggan said. "You will be able to get the third shot on site."

Starting on Sept. 20, the city will also offer a third shot for any fully vaccinated Detroiter six months following their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna. They're also offering incentives for you to bring your neighbor in as well.

"All we’re gonna keep doing, as things get worse and worse, is make the vaccines more and more available," Duggan said. "And if you bring someone you care about you get a $50 certificate."

Duggan also said they're testing unvaccinated city employees every two weeks and the city is returning to virtual public meetings via Zoom until this wave abates.

While the rising infection rate is cause for concern, there are other issues as well as Duggan addressed the raids by the FBI. Agents searched City Hall and the homes of Detroit City Council members Janeé Ayers and Scott Benson as part of a growing public corruption investigation.

The ex-prosecutor urges everyone to stay cautious about jumping to conclusions.

But as a former prosecutor… Mayor Duggan was cautious about jumping to conclusions

"We need to remember these are search warrants nobody has been charged. I was a prosecutor. There are lots of cases where you do the search warrant, you gather the evidence, and then find out there has not been a crime committed. In other cases, you gather evidence that makes your case. At this point, nobody has been charged and I'm going to withhold judgment until I see what develops," Duggan said.