Gov. Whitmer extends stay-at-home order April 9

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on April 9 extended her stay-at-home order through April 30.

(The Center Square) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made national news last week for her extended and expanded Executive Order 2020-42 in response to the novel coronavirus.

Fox News Host Tucker Carlson ripped on Whitmer Monday night for her “petty authoritarianism.”

He added: “Last week Whitmer banned all gatherings, anywhere, for any reason, of any size, including in people’s private homes, as if she’s allowed to do that." 

Tucker criticized Whitmer for what he saw as an overreach in banning Michiganders from traveling between two residences in the state.

That order also restricted stores over 50,000 square feet from selling paint, furniture, garden supplies, and carpet and flooring.

“How did Gov. Whitmer know that paint, buying cans of paint, could be deadly? How does not buying cans of paint prevent the spread of the coronavirus?” Tucker asked.

Tucker cited research from German professor Hendrik Streeck of the Institute of Virology that found most COVID-19 spread resulted from "people being closer together over a longer period of time.”

Tucker accused Whitmer of playing politics and said this was “about power.”

“Governor Whitmer wants to be the vice president,” he said... And she’s calculated that there is no penalty for petty authoritarianism. In fact, petty authoritarianism might make even mediocre politicians look strong and decisive.”

Whitmer’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Some Michiganders are fed up with executive order 2020-42 as well.

Six U.S House members sent Whitmer a letter asking her to revise the order, which they described as “far too restrictive” with provisions “that seem arbitrary and internally inconsistent.”

“For example, within individual stores some entire sections are closed, while customers can still access other areas of the same building,” the letter stated, which was released on Tuesday.

“Some prohibited activities that never require close contact with other individuals during normal operations are now prohibited entirely,” the letter read.

The following Republicans signed the letter: Paul Mitchel of Dryden, Fred Upton of St. Joseph, Tim Walberg of Tipton, Bill Huizenga of Zeeland, John Moolenaar of Midland, and Jack Bergman, of Watersmeet.

The letter said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance from health experts on how businesses can curb the spread of COVID-19.

"By following this guidance businesses can ensure people remain six feet apart, properly sanitize, set up sneeze guards and protective barriers, promote proper handwashing and cleaning techniques for their employees, while also protecting customers with similar guidelines," the lawmakers said.

"Individuals can practice proper social distancing and mitigation techniques while avoiding activities that jeopardize the health of themselves or others."

The letter concluded that Whitmer could amend the executive order to reach “our shared goal of protecting public health while also beginning the slow process of resuscitating our economy.”’

Those members aren’t alone.

Over 600 construction vehicles, 250 landscaping trucks, and 100 trailered boats are expected to “gridlock” the Capitol on Wednesday in a noon protest, Michigan Conservative Coalition (MCC) spokesman Matt Seely told The Center Square.

About 4,000 people on Facebook said they are going to “Operation Gridlock,” a car-based protest co-hosted by MCC to oppose the order’s expanded restrictions.

“In Michigan, you can smoke grass; you can’t just cut it,” Seely said. “What’s the harm in letting landscaping companies who are seasonal businesses get out there and start working?”

Seely said the order is bankrupting companies and burdening small businesses.

“This is not a partisan protest,” Seely told The Center Square. “This is about Michigan citizens saying, ‘enough.’”

“We’re citizens of Michigan, and we feel like she has completely overstepped her authority as governor.”

Staff Reporter

Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.