Michigan Order Banning Travel ‘Between Residences,’ Sale of Certain Items Takes Effect

Order draws criticism from elected officials
April 12, 2020 Updated: April 13, 2020

An expansive new set of restrictions went into effect over the weekend in Michigan, including restrictions on the sale of certain items, drawing a rebuke from elected officials.

The order requires big box stores like Walmart and Target to shut down sections dedicated to items that are considered nonessential, including flooring, furniture, gardening, paint, gardening supplies, and others. Michigan residents are also no longer permitted to visit friends or relatives, or their second homes, and they cannot visit vacation rentals in the state.

“Michigan has the third-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, and we’re still on the upswing,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday, referring to the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a local NBC affiliate reported. “We must continue to do everything we can to slow the spread and protect our families.”

“Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe,” she continued. “That’s good, but we must keep it up. When we do, we can save lives and shorten the amount of time we’re working through this crisis, which will be good for our families and good for our economy in the long-run.”

However, the order, which went into effect Saturday, drew criticism from elected officials, who said it is an abuse of power.

Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) wrote on Twitter: “I have a constitutional duty to ensure states don’t trample on the rights of the people. @GovWhitmer’s latest order goes too far and will erode confidence in her leadership. She should immediately reassess it.”

“Several recent measures provide marginal benefits at best, while substantially heightening frustration and resentment,” he added. “Sensible instructions to practice social distancing, wear masks, and stay at home already do most of the work to reduce the virus’s spread. By pushing too far, the governor undermines her own authority and increases the likelihood people will not follow reasonable guidelines.”

Speaker of the Michigan House Lee Chatfield, a Republican, also offered critical words.

“Non-essential in Michigan: Lawn care, construction, fishing if boating with a motor, realtors, buying seeds, home improvement equipment & gardening supplies. Essential in Michigan: Marijuana, lottery & alcohol. Let’s be safe & reasonable. Right now, we’re not!” he wrote.

Some users went on social media to say that items such as child car seats are nonessential.