Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order that severely restricts travel between residences. She also basically forbade residents from travel to their own summer home. The new rules are the latest updates to the “stay-at-home” order and are among the most restrictive in the nation.
Exceptions to the new rule include “caring for a relative, an elderly friend, or a pet, visiting a nursing home or similar facility, attending a funeral with no more than 10 people, or complying with a court order related to child custody,” according to the Detroit Free Press.
“All public and private gatherings of any size are prohibited,” Whitmer said at a news conference. “People can still leave the house for outdoor activities,” and outdoor “recreational activities are still permitted as long as they’re taking place outside of six feet from anyone else.”
People will still be able to travel to other residences outside the state, but not to cottages or vacation rentals inside the state, the order says.
The rule against traveling to a favorite vacation spot will devastate the economy in the north. Michigan is a wonderland of lakes and rivers set in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The economies of many of the state’s small cities and towns will crater if their summer business fails to show up.
The new order creates a few oddities. For example, it is still OK to travel north to visit a state park, but not to go to a cottage or home, Whitmer spokeswoman Tiffany Brown confirmed.
Brown did not respond to a question about how some aspects of the travel restrictions will be enforced. Violating the order can bring a civil fine of up to $1,000.
Whitmer said at the news conference that strict measures are needed for another three weeks as the state attempts to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Whitmer angered Trump when she accused the White House of blocking requests for much-needed supplies by telling companies to bypass Michigan. She offered no proof whatsoever for her explosive charge, but it got her so much national attention that Joe Biden is reportedly looking seriously at Whitmer for vice president. Trump responded by saying he had a “big problem” with the “woman governor” in Michigan. “All she does is sit there and blame the federal government.”
That would be fitting; Democrats choosing a vice president who achieved notoriety by lying about her inability to obtain medical supplies, claiming a conspiracy against her by Trump.
Politically, Whitmer wouldn’t be a bad choice. She’s from a state that Biden absolutely has to win to beat the incumbent. She’s the right gender (too bad she’s white), and her politics are acceptably left-wing. But Biden needs a woman of color on his ticket and while Whitmer has her attractions as a running mate, she falls short in the race department.