Runestad defends restaurant industry against governor’s continued shutdown

‘Family businesses built over decades are being destroyed’

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, issued the following statement Thursday questioning Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Department of Health and Human Services for extending the state’s ban on in-person dining at restaurants through Feb. 1:

“The governor continues to single out the restaurant sector as a primary source of COVID-19 contamination compared to all other economic activity.

“The governor states that all her decisions are based on science. I ask the governor: ‘Why can a hospital cafeteria allow indoor dining, but a family restaurant with similar floor space cannot?’

“It makes no sense to allow group fitness and indoor athletics — with individuals exerting themselves indoors — while still preventing a family from having a meal in an isolated corner booth.

“Restaurants were already struggling with 50% capacity. They cannot survive with 0% capacity. Establishments built over decades are shutting their doors, many never to open again, due to the governor’s arbitrary attacks on this industry. Too many have closed already.

“I call on the governor to reverse her arbitrary decision and open restaurants to, at the very least, limited indoor dining today.”