Lantz calls on Michigan leaders to back a science-based approach to control pandemic

October 6, 2020

Associate Dean Paula Lantz and a coalition of 15 health experts call on the Michigan legislature and county/city governments to take a science-based approach to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic in an op-ed published in the Detroit Free Press. The commentary comes in the aftermath of the Michigan Supreme Court overturning Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency orders. 

With collectively more than 300 years of experience in research and service in the public interest, including service in both Republican and Democratic administrations, the authors are unified in their “scientific understanding of what policies must be in place to minimize both the health and economic carnage from the pandemic.”

Pointing to their legal amicus curiae brief, Lantz and her colleagues “explained to the Michigan Supreme Court that the governor’s actions were firmly rooted in science and saved thousands of lives.” According to estimates, 3,500 more deaths would likely have occurred by June 1 in Michigan without the emergency measures.

The op-ed cites similar emergency actions of 43 other states to control the spread of the COVID-19. It highlights recent research about social distancing efforts and face-covering mandates that were successful in averting millions of cases nationwide. 

The coalition offers its non-partisan advice, and urges local and state leaders to use science-based policy to keep Michiganders safe and healthy and to save lives. 

The op-ed concludes: “We know the policy tools that are needed to control the pandemic and how to make it successfully to the other side of this historic crisis. The most important tool is good governance that is responsive, vigilant and science-driven. We need policymaking that is rooted in both science and the value of protecting our public's health.”