“With COVID-19 cases surging, there is great urgency to encourage masking and social distancing,” wrote former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon in emails to the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association (MSA) and Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. Gordon, a key point person for Whitmer’s coronavirus lockdown strategy, was seeking assistance for a plan to urge Michigan residents to call law enforcement on alleged order violators.
“These are the best tools available to slow the rise in cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” he continued. “While some people will act because they believe it is important, for others, a credible threat of sanction is likely to be critical.”
Both organizations rejected Gordon’s request, and several sheriffs refused to follow Whitmer’s orders, deeming them unconstitutional. But a handful of police departments did act to enforce Whitmer’s and MDHHS’s orders.
The Michigan Senate passed a resolution calling on Whitmer’s administration “to forgive all fines and fees accrued by businesses for violating COVID-19 orders or rules.” Whitmer has not indicated whether she will forgive the penalties.