Friday, March 5, 2021

Sen. Shirkey lies about COVID-19 science, defends Texas’ decision to fully reopen

Posted By on Fri, Mar 5, 2021 at 10:44 AM

click to enlarge Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey. - MICHIGAN SENATE PHOTO WIRE
  • Michigan Senate Photo Wire
  • Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey.

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey on Thursday falsely claimed there’s no evidence that COVID-19 restrictions are effective and defended Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to allow businesses to fully open and lift the state's face mask mandate.

In a radio interview on WKHM, the Clarklake Republican said if he were the governor of Michigan, he’d embrace “something similar, not exactly the same, to what Gov. Abbott has done in Texas.”



The radio host pushed back, saying, “You’re not hitching your wagon to Texas are you? Come on, Mike.”

Health experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have cautioned states against lifting restrictions prematurely because of new virus variants and the continuing spread of COVID-19. They also strongly recommend people wear masks, pointing to studies that have repeatedly shown face coverings are effective.

“Please hear me clearly,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Monday. “At this level of cases, with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained. These variants are a very real threat to our people and our progress. Now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards that we know can stop the spread of covid-19 in our communities, not when we are so close. We have the ability to stop a potential fourth surge of cases in this country. Please stay strong in your conviction. Continue wearing your well-fitted mask and taking the other public health prevention actions that we know work.”

Infectious-disease expert and President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser Anthony S. Fauci on Thursday criticized Texas, calling the decision to roll back restrictions “inexplicable.”

“I don’t know why they’re doing it but it’s certainly, from a public health standpoint, ill-advised,” Fauci told CNN.

In January, a University of Michigan study estimated that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions saved 2,800 lives.

Nevertheless, Shirkey insisted “there’s really no data and no science that we can discern behind” Michigan’s restrictions.

“To me, it’s evidence that there is still this remnant of wanting to have control versus following data and science and then informing and inspiring and encouraging and trusting people to do the right thing like they’re doing across the country frankly,” Shirkey said.

Businesses should decide when to open, Shirkey said.

“Let businesses and organizations start determining … when it’s safe for them to start opening up to full capacity."

Sam Newton, deputy communications director for the Democratic Governors Association, said Shirkey's remarks are dangerous and detached from reality.

“Mike Shirkey wants to hitch his wagon to the failed response to COVID-19 in Texas,” Newton said in a statement. “Shirkey is showing once again that Michigan Republicans are incredibly out of touch with the needs of their constituents, and have zero good ideas on how to govern the state in a way that would make life better for working families.”

Over the past month, Shirkey has come under fire for making other false claims. At a diner with Hillsdale County Republican Party leaders, all of whom weren’t wearing masks, Shirkey insisted the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was a “hoax” and “staged” by opponents of former President Donald Trump.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 7, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation