Editor note: A previous version of this story was rated “false” by independent fact checkers at Politifact after it incorrectly stated that the governor has banned sales of certain products including plants, plant seeds, paint and more.
To be clear, an executive order by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer does not prohibit gardening or the sale of any particular product.
For clarification purposes: “Stores in Michigan larger than 50,000 square feet must close areas that sell carpet or flooring, furniture and paint, as well as garden centers and plant nurseries.”
We apologize to our readers for the mistaken information.
LANSING, MI – Michigan’s governor and her stay-at-home modifications to address COVID-19 have now gone too far.
Stores that are allowed to operate under the present circumstances are actually shutting down sections of their businesses containing certain items deemed “not essential.” And that list is mind-blowing.
For example, Home Depot has shut down the sale of paint in the store. Also, their flooring sections and garden sections have been closed off too.
A Lansing resident, Brian Tillery, ventured into his local Home Depot on April 10th and noticed signage and caution tape telling people they can’t up paint. This was a move made by the store under Gretchen Whitmer’s updated stay-at-home order that states:
“Individuals may leave the home or place of residence to purchase groceries, take-out food, gasoline, needed medical supplies, and any other products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and basic operation of their residences.”
You know what’s scariest in that language? The fact that it says “individuals may leave their home.”
Most Michigan residents recognize the challenging circumstances and are willing to make considerable sacrifices to keep themselves and others safe. But several recent measures provide marginal benefits at best, while substantially heightening frustration and resentment.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) April 11, 2020
How did we go from “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in 1776, to “individuals may leave their home” in 2020? Furthermore, how does someone grabbing a can of paint in a store already open to the public somehow create more risk?
Brian Tillery has been hurting for cash lately, since his job was deemed unessential in Michigan. He worked as a floor layer, and has been desperate to find people willing to hire him for handyman jobs.
Not everyone has the luxury of feeling self-righteous with a “stay home, save lives” banner on their social media accounts. Staying home for those living week-to-week won’t put food on the table or pay the electricity bill.
Tillery had landed a local side job of repairing someone’s roof after a tree had crashed through it. He was just about done with the repair, and the last touch left was adding some paint. Now, that job has gone unfinished:
“I just don’t understand. You can put up drywall, but you just can’t paint it right now because that’s not essential.”
In Michigan you can buy lottery tickets, get an abortion, buy weed. But You can't buy a gallon of paint or a packet of seeds to plant in your garden. You can't drive a few hundred miles to your cottage. And the list goes on and on.
— cheryls-casual-chatter (@cheryl_tim) April 11, 2020
Governor Whitmer’s order does more than just lead to certain sections of large retailers being shut down. The order is now even affecting the manner in which stores can advertise their products:
“By April 13, 2020, refrain from the advertising or promotion of goods that are not groceries, medical supplies, or items that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and basic operation of residences.”
That has to be one of the most ridiculous portions of the governor’s executive order.
Basically, Walmart can tell you that tuna fish is on sale this week, but they can’t inform folks that a particular movie or television is at a reduced price.
.@GovWhitmer You have become "that woman in Michigan" whose EO allows us to buy a pint of whiskey but not a gallon of paint. Where I can buy a lottery ticket but not a packet of seeds. Protecting state revenue & destroying people's livelihoods. pic.twitter.com/PPQ20tY4bq
— KarenBSpunky (@Karen09490763) April 11, 2020
Through her executive order, she claimed that employees of hotels and motels can still go to work. Here’s the catch though: Those hotels and motels can only stay open if they don’t have the following:
“In-house amenities such as gyms, pools, spas, dining, entertainment facilities, meeting rooms, or like facilities.”
Can anyone think of a single motel or hotel that doesn’t have one of the aforementioned? Even the most dilapidated of Motel 6’s iterations have some crummy looking pool.
Also, if you happen to own two homes in Michigan, you’re no longer allowed to travel back and forth between the two. You’re literally no longer allowed to utilized your own property. When making reference to in-state travel, the order states:
“Travel between two residences is not permitted.”
Beginning Friday, people aren't allowed to travel between homes they own in Michigan or to vacation rentals, and large retail stores must cordon off areas dedicated to furniture, gardening and paint, which aren't viewed as essential supplies. https://t.co/RSB2LDwiJe
— The Detroit News (@detroitnews) April 10, 2020
The irony in the updated order by the governor is that it opens with the following note:
“This order must be construed broadly to prohibit in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life.”
There’s more to life than just physical well-being.
There’s emotional health, mental health, and basic freedoms that we should be able to enjoy as Americans. For the love of everything sensical, let people in Michigan buy some paint and flowers.
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