Michigan’s is seeing a surge in the number of new COVID-19 cases and yet, the Governor refuses to pass new mandates to curb the outbreak. The information provided by state health officers is a clear indication of the rapid increase in active cases in the state of Michigan. Last week, it reached an all-time high of 100,000 active COVID-19 cases, the highest since November.
The sudden and unanticipated surge in cases can be attributed to the prevalence of the B.117 variant that originated in the United Kingdom. More popularly known as the infamous U.K variant, the strain is not only extra contagious, but also more lethal. The U.K variant has spread to such a large extent that almost 70% of the new virus cases in Michigan consist of this mutant, as suggested by the data provided by the state and CDC. Moreover, new data provided by the CDC has pronounced Michigan as the state with the highest number of the B.117 variant cases in the entire nation.
In recent times, there has been a 30% increase in hospital admission rate over the past week. Dr. Ora Pescovitz, who serves as the president of Oakland University has responded to the sudden increase in cases. In an interview with the ABC affiliate station, Pescovitz announced there is an ongoing duel between the number of vaccinations and the increasing percentage of COVID-19 active cases.
Despite the alarming figures, Gretchen Whitmer has not introduced any additional requirements to stop the spread of the virus. The Governor who had been known for introducing extremist COVID policies such as strict stay-at-home orders is now staunchly against reintroducing these mandates. At present, the state of Michigan has allowed schools to resume in-person classes and also permitted 50% of people to dine in at restaurants.
However, given the current circumstances, Whitmer has declared in a recent news conference that residents should avoid dining out as much as possible and schools should switch back to online classes for the time being. She emphatically declared that these aren’t orders but an amalgamation of a set of efforts that have to be put in by the nation as a whole. Furthermore, she has suggested that the current situation may not be that great, but there is always a “light at the end of the tunnel.”
Whitmer has also mentioned that she had requested President Joe Biden to increase the supply of vaccines to Michigan as there is a dire need for it. However, the White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients has proclaimed that this is an unjust demand as there are millions of people who have not yet been vaccinated as. He further added that the only just way to allocate the vaccine is “based on the adult population by state, tribe, and territory.” Since the virus is largely unpredictable, the allocation of vaccines has to be done on a fair and impartial basis, said Zients.