By Tom Gantert
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urged Michigan officials to lock down the state back into the 2020 “stay-at-home” order stage because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases.
Walensky made those comments on April 12.
Michigan officials did not choose to follow her stern advice, and yet since it was offered, COVID cases in Michigan have plummeted.
When Walensky urged Michigan to shut down, the seven-day average rate of positive test results was 651 per million. By April 20, the latest date for which complete state data is available, the rate had fallen to 463 per million per day. More recent data that is not complete has the new positive tests per million falling to 298.
Michigan saw 5,277 new COVID cases on April 12, according to Worldometers.com. On April 13, that number had risen to 10,277, the highest number since the onset of the pandemic. Since then, the number of new cases dropped to 3,540 on April 26 and 4,584 on April 27. Michigan reported 4,371 cases on April 28.
This is not what Walensky predicted.
“So when you have an acute situation, extraordinary number of cases like we have in Michigan, the answer is not necessarily to give vaccine,” Walensky said on April 12, according to The Associated Press. “The answer to that is to really close things down, to go back to our basics, to go back to where we were last spring, last summer and to shut things down, to flatten the curve, to decrease contact with one another, to test … to contact trace.”
Walensky said it can take up to six weeks to see the impact of vaccinations.
Tom Gantert (email@example.com) is the managing editor of Michigan Capitol Confidential. A version of this article was published on April 28, 2021. Reprinted with permission.