FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Contact: Stephanie Cepak, Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
Public health experts applaud demise of dangerous Unlock Michigan 2.0
Health care leaders praise voters for rejecting reckless initiative that would have limited key public health orders
LANSING — Public Health Over Politicians (PHOP) today thanked health care officials, doctors, and nurses for leading an educational effort that encouraged voters to reject a reckless and dangerous ballot initiative that would have hamstrung public health orders intended to save lives.
According to media reports, Unlock Michigan 2.0 failed to submit petition signatures for its proposed ballot initiative that sought to shift decision-making authority from public health experts to politicians during public health emergencies.
That change would have happened 28 days after a health order is issued, regardless of the status of a health emergency, which could range from COVID-19 to Legionnaires’ disease to hepatitis.
PHOP held news conferences, media events, conducted interviews and wrote opinion pieces, along with additional grassroots organizing, to urge voters not to sign the petition – an effort which took its toll on Unlock Michigan 2.0’s effort.
“Today is truly a great day when public health triumphed over politicians,” said Norm Hess, executive director for the Michigan Association of Local Public Health and member of Public Health Over Politicians. “Across our health care community, doctors, nurses, public health officials and many others urged Michigan voters to decline to sign Unlock Michigan 2.0 because it would have taken our state backwards. Today’s resounding defeat of Unlock Michigan 2.0 proves that Michiganders of all stripes want public health decisions made by those with the training and expertise in public health emergencies and not partisan politicians with agendas that have nothing to do with saving lives.”
“Protecting public health isn’t the easiest job in the world and for months, Unlock Michigan 2.0 stoked fear and intimidation of our public health officers and others in the health care field,” said Linda Vail, Ingham County health officer and member of Public Health Over Politicians. “I want to thank every single doctor, nurse, public health officer and everyone working in Michigan health care for raising their voices because they made all the difference in stopping this dangerous ballot initiative. Even with the millions of dollars raised and spent by Unlock Michigan this latest overreach by partisan politicians was slapped down by voters across Michigan who said ‘Yes’ to public health and ‘No’ to Unlock Michigan’s dangerous agenda.”
Public Health Over Politicians is made up of public health officials, doctors and nurses who believe the health of all Michiganders should come before partisan and political games. Groups that have endorsed the effort include the Michigan Association for Local Public Health, Michigan Nurses Association, Michigan Association of Osteopathic Family Physicians (MAOFP), Michigan Osteopathic Association, Michigan Association of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Physicians and the Michigan League of Women Voters.