As special interests continue to pour money into Michigan in a last-ditch effort to drag Tudor Dixon’s agenda over the finish line, the Republican Governors Association is continuing to mislead Michiganders about Governor Whitmer’s record in an attempt to pull the wool over their eyes about Dixon’s disastrous plans and conspiracy theories.

In addition to the RGA, outside groups and opponents have spent more than $20 million to push baseless attacks against Governor Whitmer this cycle. Here are the facts.

Governor Whitmer’s Actions During the COVID-19 Pandemic Saved Lives

When faced with an unprecedented crisis, Governor Whitmer took quick action to save the lives of Michiganders and protect them from an unknown virus. Nursing home experts, senior advocates, and studies, including AARP and the University of Michigan, agree that Governor Whitmer’s leadership saved lives

Governor Whitmer led successful efforts to prioritize nursing home residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine that resulted in a major drop in deaths and saved thousands of lives. Whitmer included nursing home residents and staff in Phase 1A of Michigan’s vaccination plan and were among the first to access the vaccine. 

After Governor Whitmer’s leadership making sure nursing home residents and staff were able to receive the vaccine as soon as possible, COVID-19 cases among residents dropped 96% and deaths dropped 99% – an effort that was labeled as “a miracle” by high-profile leaders representing long-term care facilities. 

Michigan outperformed its neighboring states under Governor Whitmer’s leadership in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s reported COVID-19 cases per capita were less severe than rates in the surrounding states where less serious action was taken to protect lives.

Governor Whitmer Brought Democrats and Republicans Together to Get Kids Back Into Classrooms

In 2020, Governor Whitmer negotiated and signed the bipartisan “Return to Learn” plan that encouraged schools to move to in-person learning and provided them with the $580 million in resources to help schools safely bring students back into classrooms. The plan also included hazard pay for teachers to make sure Michigan’s educators had the support they needed to keep students and themselves safe. 

Thanks to Governor Whitmer’s leadership, every school district in Michigan has returned to in-person learning. Governor Whitmer has been “crystal clear” that virtual classes were “not sustainable” and “not as fulfilling or conducive to a child’s growth” as she called on schools to return to in-person learning. 

In January 2021, Whitmer publicly urged schools to offer in-person learning and called on districts to provide as much face-to-face instruction as possible. By the end of the month, 98% of districts had returned to in-person learning. 

FACT CHECK: Governor Whitmer’s March 2020 Executive Order Closed Schools for Three Months

As part of the impactful and swift action proven to save lives that Governor Whitmer took during the early days of the pandemic, the executive order she issued in March 2020 closed schools for three months through to the end of the 2020 school year. 

In August 2020, Whitmer announced a bipartisan deal with Republican lawmakers that provided school districts with flexibility to determine when students returned to in-person classes – making this a decision that was made at the local level. 

Multiple fact-checkers have confirmed that Governor Whitmer’s executive order to keep schools closed lasted only three months, contrary to the misinformation spread by Dixon and the Republican Party:

  • Bridge MI: “Some Michigan districts kept classrooms closed for much longer than three months, but those were local decisions made after Whitmer and the GOP-led Legislature struck a deal that gave districts flexibility to develop their own return-to-learn plans.” (10/25/22)
  • Detroit News: “Whitmer closed schools for three months in the spring of 2020 and then negotiated with Republican legislature to let local school boards decide whether to reopen in the fall of 2020, operate in a hybrid format of a couple of days per week in-person or remain in remote-learning mode with school buildings closed to students.” (10/31/22)

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Dixon Spread Dangerous Conspiracy Theories About the Virus and Vaccine 

While Governor Whitmer was taking swift action to protect the lives of Michiganders during an unprecedented crisis, Tudor Dixon spent her time spreading dangerous conspiracy theories full of misinformation about the virus and vaccine. 

Dixon pushed conspiracy theories claiming that COVID-19 could “completely go away without a vaccine” and that children could not transmit the virus – both theories that have been debunked time and time again by experts. Dixon has also claimed that the COVID-19 vaccine would lead to “microchips” in your body and calling the vaccine itself “the mark of the beast.” 

And recently Dixon was called by the Michigan Advance for continuing to spread COVID-19 misinformation while on the campaign trail, including calling the vaccine an “experimental” drug and warning people about the dangers of getting it. 

Dixon Claimed Democrats Planned the COVID-19 Pandemic Because They Never Got Over Losing the Civil War

Dixon’s most recently-exposed COVID-related conspiracy theory has been getting attention across the board in the past few days from outlets like CNN, Michigan Radio, and WDIV. Even President Obama had a few words to say about it – but mainly, “I’m sorry, what?” 

In 2020, Dixon claimed the COVID-19 pandemic and protests in the summer of 2020 after the killing of George Floyd were part of a “decades-long” plan to “topple” the United States as retaliation for losing the Civil War – and argued the Democratic Party wants to enslave people “again.” This wild-eyed theory has people reeling and wondering how Dixon could offer this “right-wing fringe” theory “without proof” and asking, “Does she still believe this?

To date, Dixon has not answered questions about whether she still believes this outlandish COVID-19 conspiracy theory and will not comment on the substance of the remarks. A non-answer is an answer, folks.

The post FACT CHECK: RGA Continues Misleading Michiganders to Distract from Dixon’s Disastrous Agenda  appeared first on Michigan Democratic Party.