Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has dumped a Democrat consulting firm that she hired to handle coronavirus contact tracing in the state.
Whitmer hired Great Lakes Community Engagement, which is headed up by Democrat Party consultant Michael Kolehouse. Kolehouse drew controversy in recent weeks by wishing for President Donald Trump to “get Coronavirus ASAP” and hoping for someone to “do the country a favor and cough on that man.”
She dumped Kolehouse’s operation after her administration admitted that the normal protocols were not used in awarding the contract. Cronyism has been Whitmer’s hallmark since assuming the office of the governor in 2019.
“This contract should have been approved by the State Emergency Operations Center,” a Whitmer spokesperson said in an email. “This issue is being corrected, and a different vendor and software platform will be selected by the SEOC. The state is committed to ensuring this important tracing work can begin quickly to help save lives, while also ensuring that public health data is safe and secure.”
Republicans throughout the state have pilloried Whitmer for essentially giving a kickback to Democrat operatives during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I want to know how Gov. Whitmer’s administration decided to hire this company without a competitive bid process, or letting the Legislature — charged with ensuring accountability within state government — know about it,” Republican state representative Shane Hernandez of Port Huron said in a letter to Gov. Whitmer.
“I want to know what safeguards the governor has in place to ensure the information gathered during this COVID-19 response doesn’t wind up in the hands of any campaigns,” he added.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, a native of Michigan, also pointed out Whitmer’s poor leadership:
Kolehouse recently posted on social media that he hopes President Trump gets coronavirus.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) April 21, 2020
The issue was initially discovered by Livingston county commissioner Wes Nakagiri, a tea party organizer in the state, who exposed the issue in a series of press releases.
“I’ve been involved with grassroots activists for a little over a decade,” Nakagiri said to the Washington Free Beacon. “I’ve never seen anything like this on the conservative side of the ledger, where you’ve got this entity working with governmental bodies, dumping huge networks of information into one database. They’re asking for contact information, they’re asking for who else lives in the house—it’s troubling that this information is being stored in a Democrat-aligned database.”
Whitmer has used the pandemic to promote her own leadership profile in the hopes of becoming Vice President. Her posturing may backfire as her corrupt actions are exposed and protests such as Operation Gridlock undermine her authority.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott Ends Statewide Mask Mandate: “It’s Time to Open Texas 100%”
Enough is enough.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott finally announced an end to statewide mask and closing mandates on Tuesday, charting a path away from coronavirus lockdowns.
All businesses within the state of Texas will be able to open “100%” after the Governor’s proclamation. After a full year of coronavirus restrictions, Abbott has determined that it’s time for Texans to make their own decision on following health and safety mandates.
The decision to end lockdown restrictions in Texas follows Florida’s approach, and Texas is easily the biggest state to end restrictions on everyday life in the United States. Texas had a varied experience with the coronavirus, with Governor Abbott at one point reinstating restrictions after a second wave of the disease.
Governor Abbott cited the success of President Trump’s life-saving coronavirus vaccine in bringing an end to COVID-19 restrictions. He indicated that the risk of the virus will remain, but that vaccinating vulnerable populations and allowing businesses was the right course ahead for the Lone Star State. The restrictions end on Wednesday.
Abbott believes that nearly all Texans ages 60 and older will be vaccinated by the end of the month, with the vaccinated population reaching critical mass by April.
Abbott did state that he would consider reinstating coronavirus restrictions in the state if COVID test positivity rates went above 15% in areas of the state.
With a full year of arbitrary restrictions and questionable advice from supposed medical experts, Abbott’s decision to end restrictions in place for a year may serve as a dam-buster in finally doing away with lockdown policies. With Trump no longer in office, blue states may soon follow, having lost their excuse.
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