Governor Whitmer is being sued over her use of emergency powers without legislative approval by the Republican led Legislature. It was filed with the Michigan Court of Claims, and is likely to go to the Michigan Supreme Court. Representative Paul Mitchell is also suing Whitmer, stating that her actions have violated his constitutional rights.
Governor Whitmer signed executive order 2020-57 which allows the state to review only the worker’s most recent job to determine benefit entitlement. This will speed up the benefit process. The order also extends unemployment benefits, expands cost-sharing with employers to reduce layoffs, allows anyone with an active unemployment claim to receive up to 26 weeks of benefits and more.
Ford, Fiat Chrysler, and General Motors are preparing to restart their idled operations. Automotive plants are planning on reopening at the end of the month. Surprisingly General Motors actually made money during the first quarter as well, with big truck sales. General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, has been taking precautions and says “Where our coronavirus safety protocols have been in place we have not seen a confirmed case of community spread in our facilities.” The second quarter is expected however to reveal heavy financial losses, and the automotive industry wants the government to be aware that they may need assistance.
Some medical experts and scientists believe it’s possible we’ll have a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020, however it’s not necessarily likely. Pfizer made a claim this week they could have a vaccine ready by September. Dr. Anthony Fauci said there was a chance we could have a vaccine by Janurary. However the current record for developing a new vaccine is nearly 4 years. That was for mumps, and was considered incredibly fast. Chickenpox took nearly 28 years. HPV and rotavirus vaccines took almost 15 years. A shorter time-line for a COVID-19 vaccine is possible with some restrictions being removed as scientists across the world scramble to develop one.
According to a survey of 1,300 businesses, one in seven small businesses may not survive the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Brian Calley, small businesses comprise nearly half of all Michigan workers. Nearly half of all small businesses throughout the state don’t have the ability for their employees to work from home, and nearly 45% of small businesses are currently closed. Click here to read the full Q&A with the president of Small Business Association of Michigan, Brian Calley.
Governor Whitmer signed executive order 2020-75, which extends a previous Executive Order that allows public bodies to conduct remote public meetings during the pandemic. The new Executive Order expires on June 30. Whitmer was quoted saying, “During this ongoing crisis, it’s critical to ensure public officials can continue to do their jobs and meet the needs of residents, while also ensuring meetings remain open, accessible and transparent to the public.”
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 7,573 cases in the county, and 774 deaths. This makes 51 new confirmed cases, and only 2 more deaths throughout Oakland County in the last 24+ hours.
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