FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021
Contact: Stephanie Cepak, Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communication, email@example.com
Unlock Michigan stokes dangerous atmosphere where Michigan nurses, hospital staff face intimidation, threats
Feeding off and fueling anger aimed at public health officers, Unlock Michigan’s latest irresponsible petition drive must be rejected by Michigan residents
LANSING — Public Health Over Politicians is asking Michiganders to support nurses, doctors and public health experts by declining to sign the dangerous Unlock Michigan 2.0 petition that would threaten public health.
A disturbing Detroit Free Press story highlighted once again how nurses and other hospital staff across Michigan are facing intimidation and threats as they carry out their jobs on a daily basis. Despite being there to protect the health and safety of their patients during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, health care workers are being yelled at and spit on, according to the article.
“On top of threats to public health officers and school board members this fall, we are now seeing stories about the intimidation and threats nurses and other hospital staff are dealing with on a daily basis,” said Janet Olszewski, former director for the Michigan Department of Community Health. “This needs to stop. Public health officers, nurses and other health care workers are there to help us, not hurt us. The attacks on public health must stop, which is why we continue to ask voters not to sign the Unlock Michigan 2.0 ballot petition. This reckless proposal would further prevent public health officials from doing their jobs.”
The vitriol, threats and violence against healthcare workers comes as Michigan voters are being asked to sign the Unlock Michigan 2.0 ballot petition, which would shift decision-making authority away from public health experts to politicians during public health emergencies. This shift would happen 28 days after a health order is issued, regardless of the status of a health emergency such as COVID-19, Legionnaires’ disease or hepatitis.
“Unlock Michigan has villainized and besmirched public health experts across Michigan and that has stoked an atmosphere where anyone looking to protect public health is seen as adversarial,” said Richard Thoune, retired health officer of the Jackson County Health Department. “When we have nurses, doctors and other health care workers serving as everyday heroes yet being treated so disgustingly, someone has to say enough is enough.”
Public Health Over Politicians is comprised of public health officials, doctors and nurses who believe the health of all Michiganders should come before partisan and political games.
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