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Michigan Doctor says universal mask mandates would reduce COVID cases but Governor Whitmer refuses

N95 masks are used both as dust masks and as medical equipment.
Don MacKinnon
Getty Images
N95 masks are used both as dust masks and as medical equipment.

Michigan's top doctor says having a universal mask mandate for schools would reduce COVID cases.

But Whitmer's administration is refusing to follow that guidance and won't give a clear answer why.

At a COVID update press conference on Wednesday, officials said as many as 6-thousand more people may die by November, and hundreds of kids could be hospitalized, if the current trends continue.

After being repeatedly pressed by reporters, Michigan's Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said she told the Governor this:

I have recommended that if a mandate were in place and it were followed, it would likely decrease the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

A spokesperson for Whitmer's office didn't explain why the recommendation isn't being followed - only that schools should work with local health departments to put universal masking requirements in place.

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist and co-host of the Michigan Radio and NPR podcast Believed. The series was widely ranked among the best of the year, drawing millions of downloads and numerous awards. She and co-host Lindsey Smith received the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists. Judges described their work as "a haunting and multifaceted account of U.S.A. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s belated arrest and an intimate look at how an army of women – a detective, a prosecutor and survivors – brought down the serial sex offender."