Michigan lawmakers ramp up preparations for coronavirus

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is staying proactive on the coronavirus threat as she opened the state emergency center last week and appointed four new task forces this week to address the economic, educational and health implications of this disease if it hits here.

The Senate GOP leader says the state may have to budget more money if needed, but he is more concerned about the media and its coverage of the deaths and the possible panic.

"Yeah, because guys in the media tend to overblow things a bit," said Mike Shirkey. "A little bit."

Meanwhile, Democrats are blaming the president for his handling of the issue.

"Those decisions need to be made by the experts. I think politicians getting up and spouting off is a problem through this process so far. I think the president has been problematic in that regard," said State Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. (D-East Lansing).

And then there are concerns over students in school, and the possibility of them contracting the disease.

A Detroit senator, who worked on a pandemic flu outbreak in college, is advising parents that their children are not at great risk.

"The coronavirus is very unlikely to happen to young children. So this is a virus that for the most part affects people over the age of 34," said State Senator Adam Hollier (D-Detroit). "Little kids already have enough coronavirus and other things circulating in their system going on that they have not been impacted very much by this."

Instead, Hollier is concerned about what the dearth in supplies hospitals may experience as the outbreak widens.

"If people start to panic and everybody goes to the hospital and says 'hey, I think I've got you know, X. That's when we have challenges because the people who really have these symptoms, who really have these issues, can't get treatment," said Hollier.

There are currently no cases confirmed in the state, however officials are monitoring a handful of residents who are self-quarantined after possible exposure.