Michigan manufacturers aren’t to blame for spikes in COVID-19 cases and closure will only harm the economy.

Lucerne International

With Michigan seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases, the governor has warned residents that the state could be forced backward in its phased reopening plan. A step backward would again force portions of our economy to shut down to protect the population. Shutdowns have been proven to be effective, but as a state we need to be responsible about what portions of the economy are impacted. Recently, we joined MICHAuto in sending a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer urging her to resist the closure of manufacturing facilities.

MICHAuto’s letter rightfully notes that as a state we must balance a responsible level of social and economic activity to keep ourselves safe while preserving the economy. While the governor has to take crucial steps in protecting Michigan residents, shutting down manufacturers isn’t the answer.

Since reopening, no major COVID-19 outbreaks have been associated with any automotive manufacturing facility in Michigan. MICHAuto has consistently encouraged its membership to do their part by taking the “Keep Businesses Open – #MaskUpMichigan” pledge.

That commitment to safety is necessary for all businesses, and we’re proud to see the automotive industry leading the way. PPE and safety protocols are something we take seriously as a company. So seriously, CEO Mary Buchzeiger has taken on a new venture, Sure Solutions PPE, to apply her supply chain expertise to make essential, high-quality PPE affordable and accessible to other businesses.

The rise in case numbers can largely be attributed to social gatherings where people aren’t following mask or social distancing guidelines. Knowing this, the automotive industry recognizes we can do more to encourage our employees to follow health protocols even when they’re not on the job.

It’s clear that Michigan automotive facilities aren’t what’s causing these increases and shutting down these facilities would only result in detrimental impacts to Michigan’s economy.

Alongside MICHAuto, we encourage Gov. Whitmer to see how seriously our industry has taken preventing the spread of COVID-19. Seeing our successful safety measures and knowing the importance of the automotive supply chain to Michigan’s economy should urge the governor to resist closure of our facilities.