Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will receive the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation’s Special Profile in Courage Award for her pandemic response despite a recent surge in coronavirus cases.
“In the face of backlash and threats, @GovWhitmer invoked emergency powers to contain the spread of the virus, issuing early, controversial orders to close schools and businesses, mandate mask wearing, and ban large gatherings, among other measures to keep people safe,” the JFK library said of Whitmer on Tuesday.
In the face of backlash and threats, @GovWhitmer invoked emergency powers to contain the spread of the virus, issuing early, controversial orders to close schools and businesses, mandate mask wearing, and ban large gatherings, among other measures to keep people safe. pic.twitter.com/lTfcx7i5hQ
— JFK Library (@JFKLibrary) May 4, 2021
“These heroes went above and beyond for their community and our country, and remind us that we all can make a difference if we answer the call to serve,” Jack Schlossberg, who will present the awards with his mother Caroline Kennedy on May 26, said.
Republicans in the state, however, have slammed Whitmer throughout her leadership during the pandemic, including this past week when the award was announced.
They pointed to Michigan’s high case rate of the virus, which hit 2 1/2 times the national case rate of 101.6 per 100,000 people this week.
“Michigan has the highest COVID-19 numbers in the country because of Whitmer’s failed pandemic response,” the communications director of the Michigan Republican Party, Ted Goodman, said. “Thousands of small businesses shut down, hundreds of thousands of children lost out on a proper education, and millions of Michiganders had their livelihoods upended — not because of COVID — but because of Whitmer’s response.”
Whitmer also faced backlash last month when it was revealed she left Michigan “to assist her elderly father who is battling a chronic illness” despite her guidance against leaving the state.
“Gretchen Whitmer’s blatant display of hypocrisy is an insult to every single Michigander impacted by her lockdown orders and travel warnings,” the Michigan Republican Party said in a statement at the time. “Not only did Whitmer and her top staffers vacation to Florida, but they tried to keep it a secret because for Whitmer, it’s — rules for thee, but not for me.”
Whitmer’s husband also faced backlash last year for requesting his boat be placed in the water ahead of Memorial Day, even after his wife told Michiganders to “think long and hard” about traveling.
Whitmer said after the pushback that his request to have his boat put in the water was a failed joke.
“My husband made a failed attempt at humor last week when checking in with a small business that helps with our boat and dock up north,” Whitmer said at a news conference at the time.
Whitmer’s office did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment on the award and the Michigan Republican Party’s statement on the matter.
Author : Emma Colton