by WorldTribune Staff, April 13, 2020
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on April 9 signed one of the nation’s most aggressive “stay-at-home” orders, banning all public gatherings of any size. The Democratic governor’s order also banned the sale of fruit and vegetable seeds, carpet, and American flags, reports say.
Whitmer’s order restricting the sale of gardening supplies struck a nerve as it came just as the weather was beginning to warm to the proper temperatures for most early planting.
“I didn’t believe this at first, but Whitmer’s order does indeed require stores to shut down their gardening and planting sections,” The Federalist’s Ben Domenech tweeted on April 10.
Whitmer, who has been a fierce critic of President Donald Trump during the coronavirus crisis, is reportedly on former Joe Biden’s short list for his vice presidential nominee.
An online recall petition to remove Whitmer from office has received more than 150,000 signatures.
State House Speaker Lee Chatfield criticized Whitmer’s classification of which businesses were considered essential and which were not. Chatfield noted that liquor, marijuana, and lottery sales were still permitted, while lawn care, construction, and realtor services were restricted.
“Let’s be safe & reasonable. Right now, we’re not!” Chatfield tweeted.
One Michigan resident tweeted photos of taped off gardening and paint & hardware departments at her local store, writing: “I can be liquor, party supplies, cards, and Easter junk! You tell me I cannot buy garden products to grow lettuce, pellets for my smoker grill or a mat to keep my bathroom floor dry! How do you determine what is essential? If I am out getting groceries and want to pick up paint to refresh my bathroom you say no!! You will let me buy a Yahtzee game! What if I live alone and have no one to play Yahtzee with? Why not let those who have a little cash spend it to keep our sanity and economy from complete collapse? My husband fought for our freedom and you have no right to restrict my spending when you allow me in a store that offers those items!”
Michigan state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a Republican, pointed out that, under Whitmer’s order, Michigan residents could still legally buy marijuana but were effectively being barred from planting home gardens. “In Michigan today you can buy weed but not seeds,” Shirkey said.
The Gateway Pundit reported on April 11 that Whitmer’s order also banned tiling, carpet, flooring — and U.S. flags.
A Twitter user under the handle Purer Michigan Girl tweeted a photo of a taped off section of American flags, writing: “No buying flags in MI. This is Costco”.
Last month, Whitmer said in an interview with MSNBC: “The federal government did not take this seriously early enough, and now it is on us to make sure we’re doing everything we can based on the best facts and science available and that we are always putting the health of our people front and center.”
In response to Whitmer’s criticism, Trump tweeted: “I love Michigan, one of the reasons we are doing such a GREAT job for them during this horrible Pandemic. Yet your Governor, Gretchen “Half” Whitmer is way in over her ahead, she doesn’t have a clue. Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude! #MAGA”.
Earlier this month, a local newspaper slammed Whitmer for engaging in a political feud with Trump instead of focusing solely on the crisis.
“Gov. Gretchen Whitmer must send an unequivocal message to her constituents that Michigan is her priority in this hour of crisis,” a Detroit News editorial said. “Her running feud with President Donald Trump calls into question whether she’s acting in the best interests of this state, or on behalf of the Democratic Party.”