By state Rep. Beth Griffin, of Mattawan
Government was meant to be of the people, not one person – and the Michigan Supreme Court rightfully ruled to restore the voice of Southwest Michigan families by confirming that our state’s COVID-19 response needs to be a collaborative effort.
With the resumption of co-equal branches of government, I recently helped introduce a detailed COVID-19 response plan that would give the people of Michigan more certainty and control during these challenging times. The plan relies on science-based, county-level data to guide decision-making, keep people healthy and determine appropriate COVID-19 restrictions locally.
This plan was put together by looking to best practices in other states in consultation with Michigan medical and science professionals, including Van Buren/Cass District Health Department Director Jeff Elliott. Director Elliott himself said empowering local health leaders to make decisions – supported by county-level data – will enable a much more rapid response to better protect residents in each corner of the state.
When data supports it, local health officials would have the discretion to modify COVID-19 policies locally, so long as health data remains below certain thresholds that would trigger statewide intervention strategies. Health thresholds allowing local decision-making would be based on five clear scientific metrics: Case rate, case positivity rate, hospital bed capacity, PPE supply and testing ability of each county.
The health of Michiganders should never be politicized – and this plan ensures politics has no place in determining the state’s response to COVID-19. People expect and deserve the governor and the Legislature to work in tandem to guide Michigan through the remainder of this pandemic – and this plan allows for that.
By empowering people and listening to science, Michigan will have a safe, sensible and improved response to the virus as we move forward to better days ahead.
State Rep. Beth Griffin and the Michigan House earlier this month approved several measures to continue protecting and helping Southwest Michigan families during the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic, including extending unemployment benefits for Michigan’s hardworking employees who were laid off through no fault of their own.
“It’s unacceptable that our seniors have not been protected the way they deserve from the start,” said Griffin, of Mattawan. “That’s why I’m fighting for major changes to the previous nursing home mandates. Our seniors and their loved ones deserve much better.
Rep. Beth Griffin, of Mattawan, today helped announce a plan giving the people of Michigan more certainty and control in these challenging times – allowing for data-driven COVID-19 responses that reflect conditions in local communities.