Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, compared her stay-at-home order with some of the challenges Americans faced during World War II.
The first-term governor had thousands protest her order that restricted movement within her state and suspended any assembly outside of one’s immediate household.
“President Trump called this a war. And it is exactly that. So let’s act like it,” Whitmer said during a press conference on Monday.
“In World War II, there weren’t people lining up at the Capitol to protest the fact that they had to drop everything they were doing and build planes or tanks or to ration food. They rolled up their sleeves, and they got to work,” she added.
“We were all in this together. And it wasn’t indefinite. It was until we beaten the enemy—no state shined more in those days in the state of Michigan. We are called to act again. It is our time to shine, to put aside our political differences, to come together and defeat our common enemy,” Whitmer argued.
During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt saw many Americans protest his wartime policies that were considered controversial.
“Partisan rancor posed a steep barrier to the extreme measures that mobilization required: mass taxation, rationing, wage and price fixing, conscription, and surveillance. The business community sharply resisted the shift from civilian to military production. Organized labor loudly demanded its share of wartime prosperity. Even as the country fell in line with this vast expansion of state authority, outwardly uniting behind the war effort, discord boiled just beneath the surface, revealing itself in violent homefront outbursts and acid displays of political demagoguery,” Joshua Zeitz wrote in a piece for Politico Magazine last summer discussing how Americans responded to FDR’s policies.
Michigan, at the time of publication, reports 32,000 total positive COVID-19 cases and 2,468 deaths statewide. On Monday, they reported 576 new cases and 77 deaths. The 2019 population estimate in the state is 9.98 million people.
Whitmer is expected to extend her stay-at-home order beyond April 30. She said she needs to see higher testing capacity in the state and a significant decline in new cases and deaths.