President Trump threatened funding for Michigan this morning, if state officials move ahead with plans to send absentee ballot applications to every state voter. Trump said this on twitter, “Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election. This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down the Voter Fraud Path!” Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson responded to President Trumps twitter threat, “Hi! I also have a name, it’s JOcelyn Benson. And we sent applications, not ballots. Just like my GOP colleagues in Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska, and West Virginia.”
Grocery store bills shot up in April, showing the biggest monthly increase in nearly 50 years according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Price increases in the meat, poultry, fish and egg category were the steepest. Regional Consumer Price Index statistics are reported on a bimonthly basis. The most current report showed metro Detroiters paid 3.3% more for groceries from February to April.
Officials from Oakland and Macomb county announced yesterday (5/19) that they have obtained over $371 million in federal funding to help offset expenses caused by the pandemic. The CARES Act Coronavirus relief Fund was passed by Congress on March 27, totaling $2 trillion. Michigan received more than $3.8 billion from the CARES Act, with $800 million planned on being used in Wanye, Macomb, and Oakland counties.
Governor Whitmer announced that on Friday (5/22) regions 6 and 8 will be partially reopened in time for the holiday weekend. These regions were determined by Whitmer’s Michigan Economic Council. Regions were broken down by where Michiganders travel to and from work, hospital system readiness, and the virus severity. Regions 6 and 8 have been moved into the 4th phase of Whitmer’s 6-phase reopening plan, and thus have been allowed to open bars, restaurants, and retail shops. A region’s reopening depends on three things; lower case number per million, downward trends in new daily cases, and the number of positive tests.
Michigan surpassed 5,000 total COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday (5/19). This number could increase significantly this week as the state plans on reclassifying how it tallies COVID-19 related deaths. Michigan health spokesperson Lynn Sutfin says that the state will likely start reporting “probable” cases of the coronavirus that led to a death. Sutfin explains, “that would be a death where the death certificate lists COIVD-19 disease as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death without a positive COVID-19 confirmed lab result.” The new tallying system could help resolve inconsistencies in an elevated statewide death-toll that have so far not been attributable to the pandemic. This move may increase Michigan’s death totals from COVID-19 by 10% or more.
Canada and the United States have agreed to extend their border closure to non-essential traffic through June 21. Restrictions were announced on March 18, and were extended again in April. Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau says, “this will keep people in both of our countries safe.” President Trump confirmed the extension, however he is looking forward to the end of the closure and said, “everything we want to get back to normal.” Plenty of Canadians still fear a reopening of the border since America has the highest confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 than any country in the world. The U.S. Canadian border is the longest between two nations, with 18% of American exports going to Canada and 75% of Canada’s exports going to the U.S.
President Trump plans on visiting Ford Motor Company’s Rawsonville manufacturing plant in Ypsilanti.Trump last visited Michigan on January 30, when he spoke at Dana Inc. plant in Warren. The president is expected to discuss the collaboration between Ford and GM during the pandemic. The Ypsilanti plant had converted itself to make ventilators to help combat the pandemic.
Visit the Oakland County website to view updated numbers on how your area has been affected by COVID-19. You can search the interactive map by clicking on your location, or typing in your zip code. Recent data shows a total of 8,078 cases in the county, and 928 deaths.
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