Coronavirus in Michigan: Day 64

‘Judgement Day’ rally tomorrow at Michigan State Capitol

Ingham County records its 18th coronavirus-related death


Editor’s Note: City Pulse needs your support more than ever. Advertising — almost all our revenue — has fallen sharply because of coronavirus-related closures. Our staff is working around the clock to keep you informed. Please do what you can to contribute to the City Pulse Fund. All donations are tax-deductible.

WEDNESDAY, May 13 — Local and state officials are bracing for another protest rally at the Michigan State Capitol tomorrow morning that’s being billed as “Judgement Day” in Michigan.

A rally organized by Michigan United for Liberty is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Adam De Angeli, a spokesman for the group, told MLive that the message is the same it has been for the last three protests: end the virus-induced lockdown in Michigan.

The Capitol building will be closed, the Lansing State Journal reports. At the last rally, on April 30, hundreds of protesters, some armed, carried the protest into the legislative chambers.

The Detroit Free Press reports that 200 to 400 people were expected to take part in what has been billed as its “Judgement Day” rally, but past rallies have resulted in thousands taking part. Regardless, both local and state law enforcement officials are gearing up for potential chaos.

Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan State Police Col. Joe Gasper have since reminded participants that public safety should be a priority and state laws — including executive orders on social distancing — will be expected to be enforced throughout tomorrow’sedemonstration.

“The presence of heavily armed protesters at the Capitol unnecessarily creates a powder keg dynamic that is dangerous to protesters, law enforcement and public servants reporting to work at the Capitol,” Nessel said in a press release today. “My office will work in coordination with local authorities and the Michigan State Police to uphold our commitment to public safety.”

Under state law, possession of an openly carried firearm coupled with an intention to create fear in another person could lead to criminal prosecution for brandishing a firearm. That means using a weapon to point, wave about or display in a threatening manner with the intent to induce fear.

Even Republican Sen. Mike Shirkey, who has been photographed ignoring social distancing precautions to chat with protesters, has advised law enforcement to act if armed protesters are seen “brandishing” weapons, according to reports published in the Lansing State Journal.

Heated speeches at the end of the Michigan Senate session yesterday featured Democratic lawmakers’ demanding action to limit guns inside the Capitol. Sen. Malory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak, said threats weren’t about being required to stay at home but were “about spreading blood on the front lawn of this building,” according to recent reports published in the Detroit News.

The Ingham Community Health Centers’ board of directors has also called on the city of Lansing and the State Police to ramp up enforcement ahead of tomorrow’s upcoming demonstration.

In emails obtained by City Pulse, board members said they were “deeply troubled” by the response of both the Lansing Police Department and the Michigan State Police and their failure to adequately enforce social distancing measures at several anti-lockdown protests in Lansing.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer acknowledged this afternoon on national TV that violent rhetoric aimed at her and others amid protests against her orders to combat the spread of coronavirus is unsettling but will have no effect on her decisions, according to reports in the Detroit Free Press.

She also pushed back against the protest, noting that events like those tomorrow make it “much more precarious” for the state to reopen more of its economy, the Detroit News reported today.

“We’re not trying to scare people,” Nessel told the Detroit News. “We just want people to be safe and secure. And if people aren’t confident the law is going to be enforced, I’m concerned about what might happen at the Capitol.”

City Pulse will have live coverage from the State Capitol tomorrow morning. Check back for updates.

In Greater Lansing…

An Owosso barber who reopened his shop and has refused to close despite state shutdown orders had his license summarily suspended today, but had not been served with the notice this afternoon, reports the Lansing State Journal. He can cut hair until he’s served, officials had said.

The State Journal reports that Nessel’s office asked a Shiawassee County judge to sign a temporary restraining order against the barber last week but it wasn’t authorized. The local judge had argued that the state didn’t adequately show “irreparable injury” from its operation.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said yesterday that at least 46 local residents have been infected with COVID-19 following an outbreak at a Meijer distribution warehouse off Creyts Road in Delta Township. The Lansing State Journal reports the outbreak is tied to at least 16 additional cases across Greater Lansing, though the facility has remained fully operational.

The city of Lansing announced that several events and programs have either been canceled or adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the cancellations: the Memorial Day ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery; the June 20-21 Fairy Tale Festival at the Turner Dodge House; and the Fourth of July parade, concert and fireworks planned at Riverfront Park.

Walking Wednesdays previously scheduled for May have been postponed. Concerts in the Park are set to continue as scheduled with enhanced social distancing precautions but will be evaluated over the next few weeks. The annual Senior Activities fair has also been postponed.

Both Hunter and Moores Park pools will be closed this summer, though it’s possible the pool at the Alfreda Schmidt Community Center will open for lap swimming at some point this summer. All pavilion reservations are canceled until at least July 6 but city officials are exploring the possibility of offering a kids’ camp with various restrictions for some time this summer. 

Additionally, the mayor’s Family Riverwalk and Run scheduled for June 13 will now be a virtual 5k where participants can sign up online to run or walk the course anywhere on their own time.

A budget shortfall exacerbated by the coronavirus is poised to drain millions of dollars in reserve funds from the city of Lansing, even as officials look to lay off staff and slash annual expenses.

In a budget plan that the administration has revised in light of the pandemic and staggering economy, Mayor Andy Schor has proposed a savings of nearly $700,000 by freezing most nonessential hiring and leaving dozens of unfilled positions vacant across several departments.

Those and other changes were outlined Monday to the City Council, which has until Monday to decide on a budget for the FY 2021 budget year, which begins July 1.

Several elected leaders pushed back this week on Delta Airlines’ request to temporarily suspend service to the Capital Region International Airport, reports the Lansing State Journal. The airline petitioned the federal government to suspend service to the airport, citing low passenger volumes since the pandemic took root in Michigan. No decisions have been made.

And the Bath Township Police Department — known for its playful social media presence — is asking Michigan State University students to refrain from throwing large parties so officers can “avoid humans” during the pandemic, according to recent online reports published by MLive.

Across Michigan…

Whitmer’s attorneys slammed a lawsuit from legislative Republicans challenging her executive authority this week, calling the claims a “power grab” that if heeded would further endanger the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to MLive reports.

The lawsuit backed by House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey challenges Whitmer’s extension of a COVID-19 state of emergency without legislative approval. Whitmer has argued that lawmakers are only looking to fabricate their own “constitutional crisis.”

State officials announced today that 31,000, or nearly two-thirds, of state employees will take temporary layoff days through July 25 as the state confronts a budget shortfall amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports the Detroit Free Press. The temporary layoffs begin Sunday.

A press release from Whitmer’s office said the maneuver will save up to $80 million on payroll.

The Detroit Free Press reports that General Motors plans to ramp up production to full speed by mid-June, though not every facility will be able to gear up at the same pace. The Detroit Three closed plants in March and are scheduled to restart vehicle production Monday. Nine U.S. plants are scheduled to restart next week, none in Lansing. GM has not announced yet a full schedule, so it is still unknown when the local plants will reopen.

Republican lawmakers today voiced concern about the safety of nursing home residents in facilities that also care for people recovering from coronavirus, reports the Detroit News. At least 687 nursing home residents have died to date from complications tied to the coronavirus.

More than 230,000 petition signatures were delivered to Whitmer’s office yesterday calling for cancellation of rent, mortgage and utility payments during the pandemic. The widespread movement is partially motivated through the efforts of the newly formed Lansing Tenants Union.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. partnered with Michigan Women Forward today in announcing the creation of the $1.5 million Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund to help entrepreneurs and small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. Grants of $1,000 to $5,000 and microloans of $5,000 to $10,000 will benefit at least 150 businesses.

Since March 15 at the onset of the crisis, 1,717,555 claimants have applied for state and federal benefits, with $5.62 billion in benefits paid to 1,374,751 of workers, state officials said today. About 92% of eligible claimants have received benefits or have been approved to receive them.

In the numbers…

At least 14 cases of COVID-19 across Greater Lansing and one virus-related death in Ingham County were reported by state officials today. The regional death toll stands at 34 with at least 887 confirmed cases reported across Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties in recent months.

Michigan tracked at least another 370 coronavirus statewide cases this afternoon with another 40 virus-related deaths, edging up the case count to nearly 48,500 with over 4,700 total deaths.

Ingham County                       

Cases — 605 (+11)

Recoveries — 218

Recovery Rate — 36%

Deaths — 18 (+1)

Fatality Rate — 3%

As of yesterday afternoon, zip code 48911 tracks at least 171-180 cases. Zip code 48910 tracks 71-80 cases. Zip code 48823 tracks 51-60 cases. Zip codes 48906, 48854 and 48864 each track 41-50 cases. Zip codes 48842 and 48912 each track 31-40 cases. Zip code 48915 tracks 21-30 cases. Zip code 48917 and 48895 each track between 11-20 cases. Zip codes 48840, 48285, 48819, 48827, 48892, 48909, 48933, 49251, 49264 and 49285 each track 1-10 cases.    

Eaton County                

Cases — 155 (+3)

Recoveries — 120       

Recovery Rate — 77.4%     

Deaths — 6 (No change)            

Fatality Rate — 3.9%        

Clinton County                                                   

Cases — 127 (-1)      

Deaths — 10 (No change)

Fatality Rate — 7.9%                                                

The Mid-Michigan County Health Department does not report recovery statistics.                  


Cases — 48,391 (+370)

Recoveries — 22,686 (as of 5/8/20)               

Recovery Rate — 46.9%   

Deaths — 4,714 (+40)

Fatality Rate — 9.7%     

State reports show that about 67% of cases (and 79% of deaths) are reported from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties, including the city of Detroit. Other hotspots include Kent County with 5.1% of cases, Genesee County with 3.7% of cases, Washtenaw County with 2.5% of cases, Saginaw County with 1.8% of cases, and Kalamazoo and Ingham counties each with 1.3% of cases statewide. Additionally, about 4.4% of cases, or 2,145 cases (and 56 deaths) have also been reported among state prisoners at the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Caucasians account for 35% of cases and 49% of deaths reported in Michigan. Despite accounting for a substantially smaller segment of the statewide population, African Americans account for 32% of cases and 41% of deaths.   


Cases — 1,381,696

Deaths — 83,356

Fatality Rate — 6%

Source: CNN            

Michigan reports the seventh most cases of any state in the country, behind only New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Michigan ranks fourth in the country in virus-related deaths, behind only New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.




No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

Connect with us