Doctor, West Michigan legislator call for bipartisan mask requirement

Posted at 11:05 AM, Nov 24, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WSYM) — A duo of a Republican legislator and a doctor in west Michigan are teaming up to fight COVID-19.

State Representative Tommy Brann, a Republican from Wyoming, and Dr. Rob Davidson, MD, an emergency physician in west Michigan, have called on the leaders of the Michigan Legislature to pass a law to require masks to be worn in indoor places and crowded outdoor areas.

The move comes as Michigan just experienced its worst week of the pandemic, with 50,892 new COVID-19 cases. West Michigan is seeing the highest case rate of any region in the state, and hospitals there are hitting capacity.

“The public health facts in West Michigan are changing rapidly and for the worse. Our family members, friends, and neighbors are becoming sick and dying at unprecedented rates, and our community hospitals are reaching a breaking point,” said Rep. Brann, “From hospital CEOs to frontline medical workers, the people I talk to from West Michigan are asking for help.”

Brann said there’s a clear legal path for dealing with the pandemic. Michigan’s Constitution, under Article 4 (Section 51), says: “The public health and general welfare of the people of the state are hereby declared to be matters of primary public concern. The legislature shall pass suitable laws for the protection and promotion of the public health.”

“I take that oath seriously as I should,” Brann said. “I’ll lose sleep if I let people down in this.”