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Whitmer’s Health Dept. Pressured Local Police to Aggressively Enforce COVID Orders

'While some people will act because they believe it is important, for others, a credible threat of sanction is likely to be critical...'

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer‘s far-left administration pressured local law-enforcement agencies to aggressively police mask mandates and physical isolation guidelines, the Detroit News reported.

Robert Gordon, who directed the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services at the time, pleaded with the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association and Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police to use their scarce resources to enforce unconstitutional and unscientific coronavirus restrictions.

“With COVID-19 cases surging, there is great urgency to encourage masking and social distancing,” Gordon wrote in an email on Oct. 17. “These are the best tools available to slow the rise in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.”

Ironically, even Whitmer and top health officials were exposed for having brazenly ignored those policies on several occasions.

Gordon argued that law-enforcement needed to punish many of Michigan’s citizens who would not voluntarily obey Whitmer’s unilateral orders.

“While some people will act because they believe it is important, for others, a credible threat of sanction is likely to be critical,” he wrote.

Gordon suggested that local police agencies should instruct residents to contact them for “violations regarding masks or social distancing.”

Matthew Saxton, executive director of the sheriffs’ association, responded to Gordon’s plea by stating that he would encourage local law enforcement agencies “to approach this issue from a standpoint of education” rather than punishment.

“That said, MSA believes the administrative ticketing process would be difficult to enforce both legally and from a manpower perspective and encourages all parties to refrain from emphasizing that message, as it is both counterproductive and negative,” he said.

Bob Stevenson, executive director of the police chiefs’ association, likewise declined to act as the “enforcement arm for the health department.”

“If the state felt this was a strong enough priority for that, they have their own police department,” he said.

Saxton and Stevenson agreed that local law-enforcement agencies—most staffed with fewer than 25 police officers—should not use emergency services for supposed health violations.

Judicial Watch obtained more than 1,200 pages of emails from MDHHS through a Freedom of Information Act request, according to a press release.

The emails also revealed that Gordon—after becoming embroiled in a series of political scandals involving the abuse of the Health Department’s emergency powers—accepted a $155,506 severance package and signed a non-disclosure agreement when he left MDHHS.

Gordon warned that Michigan’s “freedom crowd”—apparently a reference to citizens who believe in the rights to freely breathe and associate with friends and family—would worsen the state’s health outcomes.

Indeed, Michigan’s health outcomes have proven to be the worst—51st in the country—but that was largely the direct result of the administration’s callous disregard for its elderly population.

After forcing healthy and infected nursing-home residence to co-mingle—even long after similarly controversial policies in New York and other states had been revoked—Whitmer’s administration sought to suppress the death toll, under-counting it by an estimated 50%.

Despite the many scandals and policy failures implicating Gordon and his department, Michigan Freedom Fund Executive Director Tori Sachs questioned whether the true reason for Gordon’s sudden dismissal was that he failed to enforce Whitmer’s unilateral measures.

“We are proud of the law enforcement officials who stood up to Whitmer and Gordon’s overreach, but now Whitmer’s administration should publicly acknowledge whether Gordon’s failure to recruit police to enforce social distancing rules was the reason he received a $155,000 hush money payment to leave his job earlier this year,” she said.

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