FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Contact: Stephanie Cepak, Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications, email@example.com
Public health experts urge voters to decline to sign Unlock Michigan 2.0 ahead of key deadline
After missing initial submission deadline, dangerous initiative still on the prowl for 340,000 petition signatures
LANSING — Public Health Over Politicians gathered today to urge Michigan voters to decline to sign the reckless Unlock Michigan 2.0 ballot initiative that would take decision making during dangerous disease outbreaks out of the hands of trained and skilled public health officials and put them in the hands of politicians.
Individuals and groups representing a variety of medical professionals have continued to educate voters about the dangers of Unlock Michigan 2.0, which is required to turn in signatures by June 1.
“Unlock Michigan 2.0 supporters are facing an uphill battle as an increasing number of residents are becoming aware of the danger posed by this initiative and are making the decision to decline to sign it,” said Janet Olszewski, former Michigan Department of Community Health director under former Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm. “Public Health Over Politicians formed because public health officials, doctors and nurses know the health of Michiganders should always come before politics.”
Unlock Michigan 2.0 would shift decision-making authority from public health experts to politicians during public health emergencies. That change would happen 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.
“Our member nurses have been on the frontlines for the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic and they have diligently cared for so many ill patients while also working to combat misinformation,” said Jamie Brown, a RN and a critical care nurse who is the president of the Michigan Nurses Association. “Let’s continue to leave the life-and-death decisions to those who have appropriate medical training, not those looking to win the next election.”
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, League of Women Voters.
“The MAOFP is proud to stand with our colleagues in supporting public health and getting the word out about unlock Michigan 2.0,” said Dr. Joel Bates, president of MAOFP. “As health care professionals, we believe public health policy should be left in the hands of health experts. Unlock Michigan 2.0 is attempting to make dramatic changes in how these policies are implemented and we strongly oppose these changes.”
Video of the press conference is available by following this link.