On Thursday, while her state was suffering from the failure of its vaccine rollout, Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer found time to mock outgoing Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, issuing a tweet showing Whitmer in a T-shirt emblazoned, “Dear [silhouette of America], Sorry about Betsy DeVos, Sincerely, [silhouette of Michigan].”
— Gretchen Whitmer (@gretchenwhitmer) January 8, 2021
DeVos resigned her position on Thursday.
WZZM reported on Wednesday, the day before Whitmer issued her tweet mocking DeVos:
Michigan ranks 7th worst in the nation for administering COVID-19 vaccines, according to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Michigan received more than 520,000 doses of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccines as of Monday, but only about 27% of those vaccines doses had been administered, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). This means that three quarters of the vaccines sent to Michigan — nearly 380,000 doses — are still in freezers.
According to U.S. News and World Report, Michigan lags far behind most states. U.S. News reported that Michigan ranked 37th out of the fifty states across the nation. U.S. News also reported that when it comes to higher education, Michigan ranked even lower, coming in 42nd of the 50 states. Regarding K-12 education, Michigan again finished in the lower half of rankings, coming in 29th.
CBS political correspondent Ed O’Keefe celebrated Whitmer for her attack on DeVos, although he later deleted the tweet:
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) January 8, 2021
DeVos has fought for school choice for students for decades. In October, speaking at the famed conservative Hillsdale College, she stated: “At the end of the day, we want parents to have the freedom, the choices, and the funds to make the best decisions for their children. The ‘Washington knows best’ crowd really loses their minds over that.”
Slamming the idea that the government should be more involved in people’s lives, she continued, “Too many today – especially among our rising generation – don’t seem to understand the dangers of such a view. They somehow have come to believe that socialism is the cure, not the deadly disease it really is. Tragically, it’s because no one has taught them differently. And worse, some have been indoctrinated to believe not in themselves, but in government.”
In a letter sent recently to Congress, DeVos wrote: “Given this precedent of choice and empowerment, it is impossible to understand how it is acceptable for federal taxpayer dollars to support a student attending the University of Notre Dame, but not for a student who wants to attend Notre Dame Prep High School … Let me encourage you to fund education — that is, learning – not a Department of Education. Let me urge you to fund students, not school buildings,” as The Hill reported.
She added, “I hope you also reject misguided calls to make college ‘free’ and require the two-thirds of Americans who didn’t take on student debt or who responsibly paid off their student loans to pay for the loans of those who have not done the same.”
The approach of Whitmer’s Michigan clashes with DeVos’ priorities. The Detroit News noted in January 2020:
Michigan, along with 36 other states, have Blaine amendments that block state dollars from reaching private schools. Michigan’s is the worst of the bunch, with language blocking any aid — direct or indirect. That constitutional amendment was added in 1970, and has resulted in preventing the state from participating in voucher or tax-credit programs available in more than half the states.
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