As signaled last week, Michigan’s Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was one of three governors to testify in a virtual hearing of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations, and she has renewed her appeal for help in coronavirus testing and meeting increasing budget constraints and shortfalls.
In her testimony this morning, delivered remotely before the subcommittee, Governor Whitmer called on the federal government to help states like Michigan ensure and promote widespread testing for COVID-19. The governor also highlighted the aggressive action Michigan has taken in the fight against COVID-19, including the state’s efforts to secure personal protective equipment for frontline workers, expand testing capacity and eligibility, and address health disparities in communities of color.
Whitmer says, “Since I first declared an emergency in response to this pandemic, my administration has taken aggressive measures to fight the spread of COVID-19, prevent the rapid depletion of the state’s critical health care resources, and lower the chance of a devastating second wave.” She adds, “We need the White House to create a specific, long-term plan outlining how the federal government will ensure we have adequate testing supplies so we can gather the data we need to make informed decisions about re-engaging our economies. And we would all benefit from a guarantee of free testing nationwide coupled with a robust federal messaging campaign to encourage Americans to get tested.”
The governor also told the committee, “As we re-engage Michigan’s economy, we know it is crucial we do this incrementally. The worst thing we can do is to open up in a way that causes a second wave of infections and death, putting our frontline heroes at further risk and extending the economic crisis. We have to get this right.”
The governor also echoed her calls on the federal government to help states address the significant revenue shortfalls they are facing after dedicating resources to saving lives and protecting frontline heroes.
She argues, “Right now, the language in the CARES Act does not provide states with the flexibility we need to address our revenue shortfalls. A broader solution is needed to provide states with additional support and this critical flexibility. I thank members of the House for their work and hope that Congress and the Administration can come together to get it done.”
To view the governor’s full written testimony, click the link below: