State lawmakers push to let COVID spread
A group of health experts, including a former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are calling on state lawmakers to look to science when dealing with COVID-19.
Just hours after the state Supreme Court ruled that the governor can no longer issue executive orders to stop the spread of the coronavirus, State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clark Lake, called for an end to the governor’s mask mandate among other restrictions.
“Nobody should be misled here or of the opinion that you can keep [COVID-19] from spreading – it’s going to spread, so we just do the best we can,” he said, according to MLive. “I’m also a big believer that there’s an element of herd immunity that needs to take place.”
Other state lawmakers, including State House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, have also rejected efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
But health experts say that attitude could cost tens-of-thousands of lives.
“Herd immunity as a concept sounds good as long as it’s other people getting sick,” said Joshua Sharfstein of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, according to Bridge Michigan.
The letter states that 80% of Michigan’s population would have to be infected by COVID-19 to reach herd immunity.
“At the current mortality rate, this would mean more than 30,000 additional deaths,” reads the letter.
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