During an interview with CNN’s Chris Wallace on Sunday, Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer admitted that her lockdown measures in 2020 did not make sense and “maybe” went too far in hindsight.
In April 2020, Whitmer issued an executive order to “suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.” The strict lockdown measures required stores to close off aisles that the governor deemed non-essential, including flooring, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries, and paint.
As a result, hardware and big box stores were forced to pause gardening sales by roping off departments containing fruit and vegetable seeds and other planting supplies.
“Close areas of the store—by cordoning them off, placing signs in aisles, posting prominent signs, removing goods from shelves, or other appropriate means,” the executive order stated.
During that time, stores were only allowed to run advertisements for essential goods.
“By April 13, 2020, refrain from the advertising or promotion of goods that are not groceries, medical supplies, or items that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and basic operation of residences,” it continued.
Whitmer also issued a stay-at-home order that barred gatherings of any size and limited travel to required workers.
In an interview on CNN that aired over the weekend, Whitmer was asked whether there was anything she would have done differently regarding her lockdown measures.
“I’m just curious, if there is one thing in particular that you could do differently and, again, knowing then what you know now, what would it be?” Chris Wallace asked.
“Michigan would’ve been manufacturing the world’s masks and swabs and would’ve helped keep people safe,” Whitmer replied.
“I mean in terms of lockdown,” Wallace stated.
“You know, there were moments where, you know, we had to make some decisions that, in retrospect, don’t make a lot of sense, right?” Whitmer said. “If you went to the hardware store, you could go to the hardware store, but we didn’t want people to be congregating around the garden supplies. People said, ‘Oh, she’s outlawed seeds.’ It was February in Michigan, and nobody was planting anyway. But that being said, some of those policies, I look back and think maybe that was a little more than what we needed to do.”
Wallace then pressed Whitmer on whether she has plans to run for president in the upcoming election.
“I am not planning on running for president in 2024, period,” Whitmer stated.
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