Shirkey asks Michiganders to mask up in YouTube PSA

    Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey | Laina G. Stebbins

    Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) continue to resist a mask mandate, but Shirkey has turned to creating PSAs on his YouTube channel that ask Michiganders to mask up.

    “Our holidays need to look a bit different this year than in previous years if we’re going to return to normal in the future. But if we take the precautions we need to take now, we will be able to spend many more holidays together in the years to come,” Shirkey says in the Wednesday video, standing alongside Mark Smith of the Henry Ford Allegiance Health Hospital.

    In the video, which runs just over one minute, Smith recommends that residents wash their hands, practice social distancing, mask up outside of the home and consider “postponing or limiting” holiday get-togethers.

    Michigan’s GOP legislative leaders have been publicly averse to any kind of legislation that codifies a mask mandate, including in their own chambers. They have also been criticized by those in the state’s health community for boasting about their communications with doctors while not taking up their advice about masks and other safety measures.

    Meanwhile, the state’s COVID-19 numbers continue to rise. As of Wednesday, 277,806 Michiganders have been infected and 8,190 have died from the virus.

    Laina G. Stebbins
    Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, immigration and criminal justice. She is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or listening to podcasts, she loves art and design, discovering new music, being out in nature and spending time with her two cats Rainn and Remy.