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Gov. Whitmer on COVID anniversary: “Our best days are ahead of us.”

Office of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

It’s been one year since the first identified COVID-19 cases in Michigan.

There have been more than 601,000 confirmed cases in the state over the past 12 months, and more than 15,700 confirmed deaths from COVID.  Governor Gretchen delivered an address Wednesday to acknowledge the one-year mark and the people lost since then.The governor said the past 12 months have brought surprises and difficulties – the worst being the separation, sickness, and lives lost to COVID-19. She also said the end is in sight.

“We have been through a lot, but I know our best days are ahead of us. We’re making good progress toward our goal of equitably vaccinating 70% of Michiganders, ages 16 and up. There’s still work to be done,” she said.

The governor also made a reference to the differences she’s had with the Legislature over her administration’s COVID response.

“I stand ready to work across the aisle to get things done for Michigan’s families and small businesses as we work to pass a budget and spend the federal relief dollars headed our way.”

That’s after she made line-item vetoes in budget bills. She struck out conditions to limit her emergency powers.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said earlier this week the Legislature will send a new bill to Whitmer’s desk.

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.