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Whitmer to get 2nd COVID shot

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Governor Gretchen Whitmer plans to get her second Pfizer COVID-19 Thursday at a vaccine clinic in Grand Rapids.

This is as some counties in west Michigan are emerging as COVID hotspots.

Whitmer is asking people who’ve had their shots to act as vaccine ambassadors to family, friends and others who might be skeptical.

“These vaccines are the most effective way that we can keep ourselves and our families safe – and our co-workers,” she said during a Zoom conference call with union members to commemorate “Workers Memorial Day” with an emphasis on frontliners who’ve fallen sick or died as a result of the coronavirus.

“I’m encouraging you to talk to your friends and family and neighbors who’ve gotten the shot,” she said. “They’ve got the experience. And if you have, share your experience. You’re the best messenger for the people in your life and you can help them stay safer too.”

At the same time, Republicans in the Legislature are acting on bills to appropriate federal COVID funds, but there’s still no agreement with Whitmer on exactly how the money should be used, or on limits to the unilateral budget powers that she’s often turned to during the COVID crisis.

“That would be a step toward restoring the integrity and making these conversations far more fruitful,” said Republican Representative Ben Frederick, “because, at the end of the day, if two partners are getting together and one can simply undo the work of that negotiation, that’s not a terribly constructive relationship.”

The GOP plan would tie some of the spending to ending the mask requirement for children aged two- to four-years-old. The health order says parents and caregivers must make a good-faith effort to keep masks on children.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.