TV6 hosts COVID-19 town hall meeting with Governor Whitmer

Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 10:47 PM EDT
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TV6 & FOX UP, WJMN Local 3, ABC10, 29&8 and Local 32 joined forces Thursday night for a town hall event with Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

News anchors from the stations asked questions of the governor, including issues that viewers wanted to know more about regarding coronavirus and the state's response.

The governor was asked 'why it took so long' to move Regions 6 and 8 (the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula) to 'Phase 5' of the 'Mi Safe Start Plan".

"We couldn't do it until we had those other pieces that were built up," said Whitmer. "It was just too dangerous"

The other pieces the governor was referring to are having enough PPE or 'personal protective equipment' and the adequate amount of tests per day administered statewide.

TV6's Steve Asplund asked a question on the mind of many, here in the U.P. and downstate: the state of Michigan's financial crisis.

Steve Asplund: "Do you feel you have a plan in place that you have to bring Michigan back to financial stability, reduce the deficit, and work across the isle. And, what about the federal government, if they're not able to help financially ... what is the state going to do, can they do it alone?"

Gov. Whitmer: "We are all in the same boat here. And that's why I really believe that Congress and the Trump Administration are gonna step up. The whole nation is suffering and it is on the feds, which work for us, to make sure we get through this without sacrificing our children, our public health and our public safety."

Asplund also asked the governor about the U.P. State Fair. Whitmer has said recently that she hopes to have things in our region 'back to normal operations' by July 4th. The fair is slated to take place mid-August in Escanaba.

"I know that the people of the U.P. are proud of it," said Whitmer. "I know that having been there myself, I've enjoyed it a great deal. But I also know that thousands of people congregating in the midst of a global pandemic is an unsafe activity. If people wear masks, being outdoors, you can do some things safely. But thousands of people in the midway, coming and going, in the midst of what we're confronting as a nation, is unwise."