Whitmer focuses on vaccines in gaining normalcy as delta variant spreads


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Just as many people were starting to feel as if life was returning to “normal,” the delta variant of COVID-19 is threatening to once again force pandemic protocols back into our lives.

The first coronavirus case in the state was announced on March 10, 2020. After seeing a decline in cases, we’re starting to see another surge along with the variant.

Political reporter Rick Albin spoke with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer about the ongoing concerns of coronavirus. She said the prolonged period of the pandemic has not only been exhausting but concerning.  

“I mean, we have done a lot of incredible work over the course of the last year and a half, and it’s taken a toll. It has been incredibly stressful for every one of us in different ways and yet, we know that we’re not quite done with COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “And that’s why availing yourself of the vaccine, right? It is incredible miracle of modern science that we’ve got a number of vaccines that are free, they are safe, they are effective.”

Whitmer said currently, nine and a half people out of 10 who are very sick with the virus are unvaccinated. She’s continuing to encourage COVID-19 vaccines for those who are eligible, saying they are key in getting our economy in better shape.

“Michigan right now is still considered one of the best places to do business in the nation. We’re proud of that,” Whitmer said. “We’re going to continue to work to get people back on their feet and support small businesses, but getting vaccinated is a critical way that each of us can play a role in that.”

As messages from officials locally and nationally have constantly been changing, Whitmer says her administration is working to continue distributing accurate and current information as it evolves.

“The delta variant that’s sweeping the south right now … shows that if you are vaccinated, you are protected,” Whitmer said. “We’ve got tools now that we didn’t have (last year). We’ve learned a lot more about the virus. We’re going to continue to learn more, and that’s why I think it’s important that we give everybody a little bit of grace and recognize that the science is evolving, so the communications evolve. But we’re doing our best to make sure that people have the information they need to stay safe …”

Last week, the governor said she, while not ruling it completely out, does not anticipate more pandemic mandates. For now, there is no such governmental edict, but some private businesses around the country are requiring mask depending on the situation as hospitalizations and cases continue to rise.

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