The coronavirus pandemic is intensifying in Michigan on multiple fronts. The state reported a jump of 801 new cases, Detroit Police Chief James Craig has now tested positive for COVID-19, and Ford and GM spent much of Friday on the firing lines of President Trump’s Twitter feed. Even Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wasn’t spared POTUS’ wrath.
To recap, GM and Ford in the past week have both announced partnerships with medical device manufacturers to help increase production of critically needed ventilators. Experts have said the devices, which help patients who struggle to breathe on their own, are in critically short supply to treat patients with severe coronavirus symptoms.
The New York Times reported late Thursday that the Trump adminstration had balked at paying GM and its partner, ventilator maker Ventec Life Systems, and would instead take more time to shop other proposals. So he lambasted both GM and Ford on Friday, urging them to START MAKING VENTILATORS NOW!!!!! and at one point saying, “Always a mess with Mary B,” a reference to GM’s chairwoman and CEO, Mary Barra. Then, he apparently decided to finally use the Defense Production Act to spur GM into action, and … well you’ll just have to listen to the show, because I can’t even, and this will probably be outdated by the time I’m done typing this sentence.
Also: Metro Detroit and Michigan’s population continues to drop according to new 2019 estimated Census numbers, and the people who are staying in the state are shifting west. In Metro Detroit, we have fewer residents living in our region than in 1970.