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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Michigan doctors respond to Andiamo restaurateurs' 'reckless' pandemic-defying letter

Posted By on Wed, Dec 2, 2020 at 5:43 PM

  • Thomas Hawk, Flickr Creative Commons

A group of local doctors are responding to a letter that was circulated by the owners of Andiamo and Joe Muer Seafood calling on fellow restaurateurs to defy Michigan epidemic orders that ban indoor dining.

Metro Times previously reported the letter. “Our industry cannot survive another extended closure,” the letter by owners Joe and Rosalie Vicari says. “Thousands of restaurants and tens of thousands of our employees can not survive it either. We need to band together and FIGHT BACK but we need to do this as a United Group of Michigan Restaurant Owners.”

However, a group of physicians are pleading for restaurant owners to reconsider their stance.

The frontline doctors called the Committee to Protect Medicare referenced a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that found that adults who had COVID-19 were twice as likely to have visited a restaurant two weeks before showing symptoms.

“COVID-19 is an opportunistic pathogen always on the lookout for a human host, and prematurely reopening dining rooms while infections remain high is to serve people to the coronavirus on a silver platter,” Dr. Ijeoma Nnodim Opara of Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University said in a press release.

The physicians warned that the statements from the Vicaris are “reckless.”

“Data and evidence show that restaurants, bars, and cafes are places with the highest likelihood for COVID-19 transmissions, and as physicians, we urge these businesses to help reduce infections by following expert scientific advice so we can all do our part to help keep people safer,” the letter continues.

The physicians group did empathize with the business owners.

“We understand that these protections against COVID-19 can add financial stress on already strained businesses and are sympathetic, however, these businesses will suffer more devastating damage if customers and staff continue to fall ill and possibly succumb to this unpredictable infection,” it read.

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