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Michigan Gov. Whitmer calls for national 'mask-up' campaign, adhered to by those at 'very top'

The Democratic governor called for the masking-wearing campaign as she halts plans to continue reopening her state

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
(Jeff Kowalsky/Getty Images)
Updated: July 7, 2020 - 12:05pm

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday called for a national "mask-up" campaign as she halts plans to continue reopening her state.

Last week, the Democratic governor abandoned plans to allow more businesses to reopen ahead of July 4 weekend. She also banned indoor service at bars in lower Michigan, following what a recent outbreaks tied to bars. 

Whitmer now says everyone should don a mask, including those in the White House, to effectively prevent a surge of virus cases across the country. She did not mention by name President Trump, with whom she has disagreed over coronavirus shutdown policies, but said such a message must come from "the very top."

"I'd like a national mask-up campaign," Whitmer said on CNN's "New Day." "I think that if everyone endorsed this, it's a simple, cost-effective thing that we could do to really mitigate spread. But the symbols that come from the very top matter and it changes behavior. If we can take the politics out of mask wearing, we can save a lot of lives and in doing so save the pain, the economic pain, that we are feeling across this country."

Over the holiday weekend, large crowds in Diamond Lake, Michigan, were caught on video participating, mask-less, in large gatherings, despite warnings from state health officials. 

Michigan currently has 66,173 cases of the virus, confirming 297 more on Monday. The state's total death toll in cases related to virus is 5,975. 

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