Whitmer: U.S. should give Michigan more virus test kits, help automakers
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is calling on the federal government to provide the state with more coronavirus test kits and to include Detroit automakers in a stimulus package being considered.
Whitmer addressed the state's needs during the coronavirus outbreak Sunday morning on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace and ABC News' "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos.
Whitmer said many more people have been infected by the virus than those who have been tested
"We're going to continue to see these numbers go up exponentially. The problem that we have right now is that we don't have enough test kits," Whitmer said on "This Week."
The governor also said she has been in contact with companies to purchase more N-95 masks for the entire state.
"Had the federal government really started focusing when it became clear the whole world was going to be confronting this, we would be in a stronger position right now," Whitmer said on "This Week."
"Lives will be lost because we weren't prepared. Our economy will suffer longer because we didn't take this seriously as early enough as a country."
Detroit automakers, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. announced last week that factories are planning to be used for ventilator production, after the companies suspended vehicle production to slow the spread of the virus.
On "Fox News Sunday," Whitmer applauded the automakers, saying the companies deserve to be included in bailouts that President Donald Trump's administration is proposing in the stimulus package.
"We have a battle on our hands and it's got to be all hands on deck so we're grateful for their leadership," Whitmer said on "Fox News Sunday." "The auto industry has to be right up there with any other industry that is able to access the loans and to get some assistance during these times."
When asked why she lifted the penalty for people going to church gatherings, Whitmer said due to the separation of church and state, the "Republican Legislature" asked her to clarify "that's an area that we don't have the ability to directly enforce and control."
"We are encouraging people though do not congregate, do not go to church on Sunday," Whitmer said on Fox News. "The worst thing in the world is to go to church to worship and sit next to someone to infect them and have them suffer."