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Whitmer, other Midwest governors announce effort to restart economy

gretchen whitmer sitting at table
State of Michigan

Democratic and Republican governors from Michigan and six other states in the industrial Midwest say they will coordinate efforts to re-start economic activity as they battle the coronavirus pandemic.

That announcement came Thursday in a statement from Governor Gretchen Whitmer – along with the governors of Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.

Charlie Ballard is a Michigan State University professor who specializes in Michigan’s economy. He says the states represented are not only neighbors.

“The states that are involved in this are the industrial heartland," he said. "They are states where manufacturing is a disproportionately large share of the economy, so they do have a lot of similarities.”

The plan includes ensuring the safety of workers and the stability of the health care system. The governors agree that it would be dangerous to public health and the economy if there was a second surge of infections.

“We’ve got an interconnected economy," he said. "A tremendous amount of goods and services, even in this reduced day, all sorts of stuff crosses the border between Michigan and Ohio and Indiana and so on.”

Michigan Radio listeners, readers, and reporters are rising to the challenge every day. If you can, please support essential journalism during this crisis.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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