(AP) — Republicans who control the Michigan Senate urged Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday to lift her five-week-old ban on nonessential medical and dental procedures, saying the decision to resume should be left to hospitals and health providers.
The resolution, while symbolic, is the latest move by GOP lawmakers who are pushing the Democratic governor to ease restrictions she adopted to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The voice vote came as Whitmer asks the Legislature to this week extend an emergency declaration — the underpinning of her stay-at-home and other orders — by 28 days so health workers and others are immune from civil lawsuits.
Hospitals in the Detroit area, home to many of the state’s cases, have had to permanently or temporarily lay off employees to focus almost entirely on COVID-19 patients. Hospitals elsewhere in Michigan have made cuts, too, due to the cancellation of nonessential surgeries and other services.