Gov. Whitmer is skipping big family Thanksgiving over 'precarious' COVID situation, urges Michiganders to do the same

"It's sad. It stinks. But it's the right thing to do."
Gretchen Whitmer says everyone needs to do their part
Photo credit Getty Images

(WWJ) The coronavirus situation in Michigan, and across the country is "incredibly precarious," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said live on WWJ Tuesday morning, adding that if the state has to dial back with new shutdowns the Department of Health and Human Services will play an important role, as will the legislature.

She added she's hopeful the state can buckle down to keep the numbers from escalating to the point it forces new shutdowns for businesses and schools.

But to make it happen, Michiganders need to double down on safety precautions, including masks and social distancing, she said, adding that politics need to be taken out of the mask discussion.

"I know we're tired, I know it's hard but we've really got to double down on wearing masks, on not gathering," Whitmer said. "We're seeing numbers increase at people's homes and weddings. It's important that we keep our guard up, especially as we're going into the holidays and flu season. RIght now, we have to do more and each individual needs to take this on and be part of the solution."

The governor also weighed in on the protests in Italy over a second coronavirus lockdown and what that means for Michigan.

"There's no question we've been at this a long time and it's been hard and we've all made sacrifices," Whitmer told WWJ's Roberta Jasina and Tom Jordan. "It is the sad reality that the Trump administration has never gotten their arms around COVID-19 and because of that we continue to see cases rise ... We really need a national strategy."

She supports a national mask mandate and said simple safety measures like donning one. "If we could get everyone to mask up, we would save thousands of lives," she said.

With Thanksgiving coming up, Whitmer said she won't be hosting the Thanksgiving she loves -- hosting a large gathering with family and friends. "I'm not going to do it this year because I don't want to create a dangerous situation and that's precisely what these gatherings are. I have a daughter who is at college. She'll be coming home then and staying home for two months. But she'll be doing a test before she comes home. She'll do a test a few days after she comes home. Between a few negative tests in a row, she's going to be quarantined... We're not going to pull multiple generations together around a Thanksgiving dinner. It's sad, it stinks, but it's the right thing to do in this moment."

She added it's been hard to guide the state through the pandemic, but her burden has been less than those who have lost jobs or family members.

So, what about all those Michiganders who have lost jobs and still haven't been able to get ahold of unemployment officials?

"Anyone who's listening that falls into this category, please reach out to the unemployment insurance agency. We've got hundreds of people working there 24/7 to help you and don't give up. If you are due benefits, you will get paid benefits."