Chatfield sends Whitmer letter on COVID-19 restrictions

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — As some Republicans have become more critical of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay at home restrictions, Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield sent her a letter with some ideas on how to handle the crisis.

In the letter sent Saturday, Chatfield, R-Levering, suggests Whitmer amend her order to allow services like construction and lawn care.

>>PDF: Chatfield’s letter

“That change would make a very real difference in the lives of thousands of Michigan families without negatively impacting the public health. Nearly every other state that utilizes this federal guidance has updated to these best practices already, including states that share a border with Michigan. We are an outlier, and families are suffering unnecessarily for it,” Chatfield said in his letter.

He also says Whitmer should more clearly define what activities are safe and unsafe and adopt a regional approach for future restrictions.

“The simple truth is that many of the jobs and activities that are now banned can be done safely and productively just by following strict social distancing guidelines and workplace safety best practices. There is no compelling reason for the state to ignore new best practices and continue to ban people who could be working safely from earning a paycheck,” he said.

While critical of many aspects of the order, Chatfield acknowledged she was “well-intentioned” and noted there is “no manual” on how to handle this situation.

On Friday, Whitmer said social distancing is working, but it’s too early to let up on restrictions.

Whitmer’s stay at home order is currently in place until the end of the month.