Michigan quietly tapped business group to promote COVID vaccine toward conservatives

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration has attempted to promote the COVID-19 vaccine among hesitant conservative voters through a $6 million advertising initiative led by a group that lobbies officeholders on behalf of businesses.

In recent months, the Small Business Association of Michigan aired TV commercials, funded billboards and sponsored digital ads touting the vaccine, including one that featured a Donald Trump bumper sticker. The association received a $480,000 "management fee" as part of the initiative, according to a document provided by the state Department of Health and Human Services.

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