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Republican legislators urge Whitmer to include out-of-state vaccinations in reopening benchmarks

U.P. Republican legislators Beau LaFave (108th District) and Greg Markkanen (110th District) were among those who signed Tuesday’s letter.
Michigan State Representatives Beau LaFave (R-108th District) and Greg Markkanen (R-110th...
Michigan State Representatives Beau LaFave (R-108th District) and Greg Markkanen (R-110th District).(WLUC)
Published: May. 4, 2021 at 6:04 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Several Republican state lawmakers Tuesday sent a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer urging her to reevaluate benchmarks announced in last week’s reopening plan (the MI Vacc to Normal Challenge).

The eight legislators, mostly representing border counties, were pleased the governor decided to change course and implement a plan to open the state, but are concerned the assessment of vaccinated individuals excludes people vaccinated outside of Michigan.

The representatives jointly said:

Vaccinations are a powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19 and a metric-based reopening plan is one we have fought long and hard for throughout the past year. But, as we now know, Michigan had one of the worst vaccine rollouts across the nation, which spurred many people to cross state borders into Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin to receive the vaccine.

“The low vaccination rates associated with these border counties do not accurately reflect reality. We urge Governor Whitmer to expand existing benchmarks and create a more reliable recording process to include Michiganders vaccinated out-of-state, so we can more accurately portray the number of statewide inoculations.

“This will allow us to reopen our state even more quickly and safely so we can once again support our favorite small businesses, visit elderly family members, and make in-person learning a priority for our children.

The reopening plan Whitmer announced will use four vaccination-based milestones to prepare for reopening the state, relying on data for residents 16 years or older who have received their first dose.

U.P. Republican legislators Beau LaFave (108th District) and Greg Markkanen (110th District) signed the letter, as well as the following legislators from other Michigan districts: Joe Bellino (17th District), TC Clements (56th District), Bronna Kahle (57th District), Andrew Fink (58th District), Sarah Lightner (65th District) and Pauline Wendzel (79th District).

A copy of the letter to Governor Whitmer can be seen by clicking here.

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