Covid, Michigan Republicans, Republican-Fail — November 12, 2020 at 10:03 am

Michigan Republicans shrug at surging COVID hospitalizations and go home until December


The surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Michigan is creating tragically sad outcomes, particularly on the west side of the state. In Muskegon, where lame duck president Donald Trump held a giant campaign rally less than four weeks ago, the scene at Mercy Hospital is grim:

Inside the walls of Mercy Hospital in Muskegon, employees who are “terrified” and untrained are being pulled in to care for a cascade of coronavirus patients who have filled the hospital.

Employees told MLive of severe staffing shortages brought on by more than 125 of their co-workers’ own COVID infections, a concerning lack of rooms to place the growing number of patients, and nursing and other staff pulled into care for patients who don’t have the proper training and don’t know how to properly wear protective equipment. […] They spoke of mandated 16-hour shifts and an inability to give patients -– who cannot have visitors — the attention they deserve.

Detroit Public Schools are returning to remote learning once again due to the resurgent virus.

A successful Republican lawsuit to strip Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer of emergency authority to handle the state’s response to the pandemic in early October has hamstrung the government’s ability to protect Michiganders. Despite this, legislative Republicans have taken no action whatsoever to put a plan in place.

In what can only be called an utter dereliction of duty and abdication of their responsibility to the residents of Michigan, Republicans cancelled their remaining legislative session yesterday and will not return to work until next month. According to Gongwer news service, Republicans cancelled their last remaining session “due to a lack of time sensitive issues necessitating a need for meeting”.

While this is astonishing enough given the ongoing and worsening calamity in our state, less than two hours before they cancelled the session, Republicans tweeted an article about Gov. Whitmer considering a new statewide stay-at-home order with this statement:

With COVID cases on the rise in MI, we clearly need a more effective strategy to combat the virus.

Our highest court, and the millions who voted last week, want the gov and Legislature at the same table.

So let’s find sensible solutions. Together.

This rank hypocrisy isn’t particularly surprising. Acting like petulant, spoiled brats instead of stepping up to the plate to protect the health and safety of Michiganders is completely on-brand for Republicans in the state legislature. But to do it in such a blatant way that has such terrible price attached to it is unconscionable and immoral. Republicans claim they want to work with Governor Whitmer and their Democratic colleagues but the truth of the matter is that they simply want to be seen as in opposition to them in order to keep anti-Democratic fervor whipped up among their base.

Next year, our state’s legislative district lines will be redrawn by an independent redistricting committee. When that happens, in 2022 Republicans will be forced to earn the votes of people who aren’t exclusively anti-government and anti-liberal conservatives. Then, hopefully, we’ll see a return to governance by people who care for their constituents more than they care about maintaining power for as long as possible.

Let’s hope we don’t lose too many more of our fellow Michigan citizens to a deadly virus due to the incompetence and partisan intransigence of Michigan Republicans in the meantime.