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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is under fire for labeling fruit and vegetable seeds as “non-essential.”
This means that families in Michigan are unable to purchase seeds and thereby unable to grow their own food during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, lottery ticket sales in the state have been permitted to continue.
Whitmer, a Democrat, has even banned Michigan residents from going to their own vacation houses.
That’s right: a family that primarily lives in Detroit, for example, would be unable to go to their vacation home in a less densely populated city elsewhere in the state.
Many have criticized Whitmer of abusing her power as governor.
See some social media photos that Michigan residents have that show the seeds that are currently unavailable for sale:
Panic buying has become rampant due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aside from toilet paper, food and other perishable items are flying off the shelves at most stores.
While there is nothing wrong with the distribution chains, consumers are purchasing items at a faster pace than suppliers can refill them.
Many families have turned to gardening to make sure their families have enough food to eat.
Some simply want to garden as a way to relax and be outdoors during the pandemic.
The Federalist has more details on Governor Whitmer's executive order banning the sale of vegetable and fruit seeds:
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued yet another executive order Thursday to address the coronavirus crisis. Soon after the details became public, the backlash began with the press and social media uniformly condemning her draconian and nonsensical mandates, including ones that banned the sale of gardening seeds and paint while permitting the public to continue purchasing lottery tickets.
Whitmer had issued her first mandatory stay-at-home executive order on March 23 to, as she explained, “suppress the spread of COVID-19, to prevent the state’s health care system from being overwhelmed, to allow time for the production of critical test kits, ventilators, and personal protective equipment, and to avoid needless deaths.” That order found it “reasonable and necessary to direct residents to remain at home” and “limited gatherings and travel and required workers who are not necessary to sustain or protect life to stay home.”
Last week’s executive order noted that while those measures “have been effective,” as of April 8, Michigan had reported more than 20,000 confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus and 959 COVID-19 deaths. Accordingly, Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order until April 30.
But the extension of the executive order isn’t what took the public aback. Rather, it was the inconsistencies and pettiness that garnered outrage.
“State residents can’t travel to their Up North cottages, but Illinois residents who own one in Michigan apparently can,” the Detroit Free Press opened its coverage of Whitmer’s latest restrictions. That is, in fact, exactly what the executive order mandates, providing that after April 10, “travel between two residences is not permitted,” but individuals may “return to a home or place of residence from outside this state” and may “leave this state for a home or residence elsewhere.”
While mayors and year-round residents of Michigan’s resort areas have expressed concern that those traveling to vacation homes may bring the coronavirus with them, Whitmer has subjected herself to ridicule by allowing out-of-state travel to continue unabated. Meanwhile, Michigan residents barred from using their own property will likely resent Whitmer’s dictate, especially with limited outlets available to families: Families with cabin fever can’t even escape to their own cabins!
Whitmer’s executive order is also being ridiculed for its hypocritical micromanaging of retail store sales. Her Thursday order requires retail outlets to close entire sections of their stores, “by cordoning them off, placing signs in aisles, posting prominent signs, removing goods from shelves, or other appropriate means.” “Classes of goods” declared off-limits by the governor include carpet or flooring, furniture, garden centers and plant nurseries, and paint. As the Detroit Free Press explained, “in-store purchases of Michigan Lottery tickets are still permitted but buying a can of paint or a bag of seeds is off limits.”
Whitmer has been accused of placing politics over people.
The draconian measures seem to have nothing to do with safety.
For example: how would planting seeds to create a garden in your backyard endanger you or anyone else?
Whitmer claims that she is acting in the best interest of the state, but to many observers, her actions appear to go way beyond the intended target.
Michigan residents are extremely upset with Governor Whitmer.
An in-vehicle protest is planned to let her know that her stay-at-home orders have gone way too far.
According to an event on Facebook, at least 13,000 people said they were interested in attending the in-car rally.
USA Today has more on the planned protest against Governor Whitmer's orders:
Critics of Michigan's expanded stay-home order are planning an in-vehicle protest to tell the governor they believe she has gone too far.
The Michigan Conservative Coalition and Michigan Freedom Fund asked for protesters to surround the state Capitol in their vehicles at noon Wednesday to display flags and signs, make noise and be disruptive about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's "erratic, unilateral orders that threaten Michiganders' economic existence," according to a news release. They warned protesters to come ready for a potentially major traffic jam.
The protest would come several days after Whitmer extended her order through April 30 and took the requirements of staying home a step further, banning crossing the street to visit with neighbors or driving to see friends, among other things.
“Michigan has the third-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, and we’re still on the upswing," Whitmer said last week. "We must continue to do everything we can to slow the spread and protect our families. Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up."
The extension was expected, and tracks with President Donald Trump's extension with federal social distancing guidelines and actions in other Midwest states.
During a press conference Monday, Whitmer said the Michigan Freedom Fund is funded in-part by the family of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, something she called "inappropriate."
Nick Wasmiller, a spokesperson for the DeVos family, said the family has not spent any money on the protest, nor has it offered prior support to organizers.
"The DeVos family, however, understands the frustration of fellow Michiganders as elements of the governor’s top-down approach appear to go beyond public safety," Wasmiller said in the statement. "Michigan deserves competent governance, not baseless attacks.”
Whitmer's new order has been blasted for its inconsistencies, as it allows the sale of lottery tickets at stores larger than 50,000 square feet, but not paint or gardening tools, and lets non-Michigan residents travel to their cottages in the northern part of the state, but not Michigan residents.
“Michigan’s typical small business owners obey laws, but they may not notice the progressive agenda being pushed by our radical leftist Governor Whitmer,” Rosanne Ponkowski, president of the Michigan Conservative Coalition, said in a news release. “Governor Whitmer will put you out of business before allowing mere citizens to be responsible for their own behavior. That is madness.”
More than 13,000 people said they were interested in the protest on Facebook as of Monday morning, and 2,800 had RSVP'd.
Michigan Representative June Amash is one of many people raising the alarm about the abuse of power coming from Michigan's state leadership.
Speaker of the Michigan House Lee Chatfield also blasted the Democratic governor's orders, pointing out that Whitmer is allowing the sale of marijuana while blocking the sale of seeds and gardening equipment.
A Change.org petition to have the Democratic governor removed from office in Michigan has reached 122,000 signatures.