LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has firmly refused to issue a state mandate that all school children mask for the upcoming fall semester, but her chief physician has revealed for the first time that she has told the governor if a mandatory mask mandate was in place, “it would probably reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools. “
The governor recommends that children, teachers and staff wear masks in the fall, but when asked why she does not issue a mandate, the governor reports that she and the GOP legislator thought it was right to let local school boards make that call.
During an audio media briefing on COVID today, the first question was whether anyone in the health department had made a recommendation to the governor to carry out the mandate.
The spokeswoman for the department, Lynn Sutfin, offered this:
“I do not know if it would be a question for Dr. Lyon-Callo to answer. So we’ll probably have to get back to you. ”
When asked why the department does not issue a mandate, ms. Sutfin offered this:
“I do not think I know if we have an answer to that question right now.”
What the spokesman did not reveal is that there was someone on the line who could have answered these questions: the governor’s chief physician, dr. Khaldun, who was asked if she made the obligatory mask recommendation to the governor.
“My job is always to recommend public health interventions and policies that would be protective. I have also continued to do so over the last few weeks, ”she said.
When she was then asked if she “specifically” makes that recommendation for the first time, she reveals “I have recommended that if we have a mask mandate, [and an] revision was followed, it would probably reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools. ”
Senate GOP leader Mike Shirkey on the mandatory mask mandate dismissed it as the “dumbest thing to do.”
It is clear that Dr. Khaldun does not agree, but she can not explain why the governor has not acted on it.
Public Health Director Elizabeth Hertel was on the call, “but could not hear the entire briefing.”
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