Michigan has been one of the hardest-hit states by COVID-19, despite strict measures from Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer intended to curb the disease’s spread.
Oblivious to the possibility that those strict mitigation efforts have had little to no impact in slowing the pandemic, Gov. Whitmer doubled down with an expansion last week that includes a new mandate requiring children from ages 2 to 4 to wear face masks at all times in public, Breitbart reported.
This comes even as it has been understood since nearly the start of the pandemic that children, particularly young ones, are at very little risk of contracting or spreading the disease at all.
Nevertheless, Gov. Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) have issued the expanded and strengthened COVID-19 restrictions in response to yet another surge in new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from the viral contagion.
Mask mandate for children age 2 to 4
News of the mask mandate now applying to children as young as 2 years old was reportedly first shared by Michigan Capitol Confidential, which noted that previous COVID-19 restrictions and mask mandates had exempted children under the age of 5.
Now, however, according to an order issued on April 16 by MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel, and with regard to any “child care organization or camp,” gatherings of more than two individuals from more than one household are prohibited unless masks are worn at all times by staff, children over the age of 5, and “a good faith effort is made to ensure that children aged 2 to 4 years wear a mask when participating in gatherings.”
Children younger than the age of 2 remain exempt from the newly expanded face mask mandate for little kids, which will take effect on April 26 and be enforced — under penalty of law for individuals deemed responsible for the children — until May 25, unless, of course, it is extended once again, as all of the other restrictions have been for the past year.
Whitmer blames GOP and Trump
As for the spike in new COVID-19 cases despite the incredibly strict mitigation protocols that have been and continue to be in place, Gov. Whitmer recently blamed that on the Republican-controlled Michigan legislature, as well as former President Donald Trump, according to Breitbart.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, the liberal host asked the governor if she had the “political ability” to order an even stricter two-week lockdown to “break the back” of the viral spread in her state.
“Well, I was sued by the Republican legislature here in Michigan, and I lost in the Supreme Court — it was a Republican-dominated Supreme Court — I lost some of those executive powers,” Whitmer reportedly said. “We do retain some powers, but we are so incredibly divided after, I think, the politics of the last 14 months.”
“So it is a very difficult moment, where I’m still trying to get the legislature to just deploy resources that the Trump administration sent us,” she continued. “So what might seem like a natural thing to do is much more complicated than what the CDC might suggest when you look at the reality here on the ground.”
The governor added: “But we do have some of the strongest protocols in place and if people would double down on it and make their vaccination appointment, we’ll get through this.”