What to expect Gov. Whitmer to talk about during State of the State address Wednesday

Gretchen Whitmer
Posted at 5:39 AM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 14:41:57-05

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state's economy, and education are just some of the big issues Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to speak about Wednesday night during her State of the State address.

We'll stream it live on on Roku, AppleTV, Amazon FireTV and on your favorite streaming device.

We know COVID-19 will be heavy in the spotlight during her speech, along with schools and the state's economy. Normally, the governor would deliver such an address in a joint session, but given CDC guidelines right now, she will speak virtually.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said he wants to hear her plan to ramp up vaccine distribution in Michigan.

“The doses we’re getting right now aren’t even close to helping support the people you know that want it," he said. "We can easily do 50,000 a week and we’ve been requested that week after week from the state and/or the federal government.”

It's not a problem unique to Macomb County. Municipalities around metro Detroit are battling too short a supply and high demand for the vaccine.

“We’re wrapping up our second week at TCF. We’re doing about 5,000 vaccinations a week. And we’re just looking to grow more and more," Detroit Chief Operating Officer Hakim Berry added.

Berry thinks vaccinations could quadruple at TCF Center with the space and staff available.

U-M Political Science Professor Josh Pasek expects the governor will try to promote the state's accomplishments in battling COVID-19, but he also expects her to touch on promises she made pre-pandemic.

“Trying to figure out how to deal with infrastructure for instance. And all the promises that she made about the roads that have now been very much sidelined by coronavirus," he said.

And, finding money in Lansing right now to address those sidelined issues, he says, is an uphill battle.

“I think voters want to see that Michigan is addressing problems head-on. I think voters are worried about taxes and other personal issues," he added.

Chief among those issues for most is their own personal economies. The state's reopening plans, thousands of Michiganders still out of work, their kids still learning remotely, so lots of really important issues for metro Detroit families.