Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) spoke out on Monday to brag that her state was able to partially restore indoor dining “because of the strong position that we’re in.”

Whitmer Boasts About Her State Reopening Indoor Dining 

“This virus poses a unique threat to places that are indoors where you mix households and people take off their masks. It’s not the restaurant industry’s fault that they are the place where this virus can spread fast,” Whitmer told CNN.

“But that is in fact the case,” she added. “And that’s why we’ve been trying to get Congress to give us more support so we can help these struggling businesses.”

Whitmer went on to credit a “strategic, targeted and temporary pause” in November for Michigan’s COVID-19 numbers dropping “precipitously.”

“We are now 46th highest when it comes to positivity rates. That’s phenomenal, compared to where we were in November,” Whitmer boasted. 

“We’re sixth highest when it comes to getting vaccines into arms and because of the strong position that we’re in we can take this small step forward in this industry that’s struggled so much,” she said. 

Related: Gretchen Whitmer Claims She ‘Can’t Stand People Who Have One Rule For Others, Different One For Themselves’

Whitmer Claims ‘The Pause Has Worked’

This comes after Whitmer said “the pause has worked” last month as she announced that restaurants could reopen in her state.

“The efforts we have made together to protect our families, front-line workers and hospitals have dramatically reduced cases and we have saved lives. Now, we are confident that starting Feb. 1, restaurants can resume indoor dining with safety measures in place,” she said at the time, according to The Hill.

“I know this pandemic has hurt our restaurant owners, our restaurant workers, and all of their families,” Whitmer continued. “I want to thank those that made incredible sacrifices, and did their part, on behalf of our protecting our communities from COVID[-19].”

Related: Gretchen Whitmer Finally Relaxes Restaurant Restrictions After Biden Is Inaugurated

Restaurants Fire Back At Whitmer

Whitmer has become infamous in many circles for enacting some of the strictest coronavirus measures in the country on her state. After she announced that restaurants could reopen, Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association President Justin Winslow released a statement saying that it is “overdue news.”

“We welcome the governor’s decision to reopen restaurant dining on February 1 as good, if overdue news,” Winslow said.

“It is now time for this administration to move aggressively towards a more comprehensive reintegration strategy, which includes prioritizing vaccination for the broader hospitality industry and establishing clear metrics for phased reopening to 100 percent capacity of indoor dining,” he said. 

“The hospitality industry and its sizable workforce has suffered far worse than its peers from this pandemic, losing nearly 3,000 restaurants and employing 200,000 fewer workers than a year prior,” Winslow added.

“It also stands to gain the most from a proficient and expedited vaccination schedule, which is why we contend that there is no more important step the governor can take to get Michigan’s economy back on track than restoring public confidence in Michiganders ability to safely dine and travel,” Winslow concluded.

This piece was written by James Samson on February 1, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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