Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been nothing shy of a dictator during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. She has taken draconian measures against the citizens, and once again, she's stepped over the line.
Now she is targeting a 77-year-old barber, Karl Manke, who reopened his shop after he was denied unemployment. When he was threatened by Whitmer's administration, he said, “What, are they going to give me? Life? I’ve got one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. I could care less.”
“As long as I have two hands and I’m capable of cutting hair, that’s my occupation. That’s what I do. That’s what I’m going to continue to do," Manke continued. “I’d gone six weeks without a paycheck with no money coming in. I’ve been in this business 59 years…I’m 77. I’ve always worked,” he said.
“I’ve never looked for handouts. I don’t even know what they are. I had somebody call me and say why don’t you get on food stamps. I don’t want to get on food stamps. I want to work," he added, “I came into this last Monday alone, thinking I’m going to swing in the wind alone. I cannot believe the support that I’ve got,” he added to cheers, with some responding, “You are not alone!”
“It’s overwhelming,” he said emotionally.
Another day, Manke made it clear he was going to defy Whitmer’s orders.
He told radio host Steve Gruber he will only leave his shop “if they drag me out in the street or Jesus comes.”
Manke’s levity is a striking contrast to Whitmer’s attempts to appear tough.
When asked specifically about Manke defying her edicts, Whitmer responded, “I expect people to follow the law. These executive orders are not a suggestion. They’re not optional. They’re not helpful hints.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: "These executive orders are not a suggestion. They're not optional. They're not helpful hints." pic.twitter.com/ImffRfwPyb
— The Hill (@thehill) May 11, 2020
Despite failing to obtain a restraining order against the barber on Monday, Whitmer’s administration is continuing to pursue him in court.
The AG said:
The Attorney General’s court action, filed on behalf of MDHHS, seeks to enforce the MDHHS Director’s Public Health Order that deemed Mr. Manke’s business an imminent danger to public health in light of the COVID 19 pandemic and directs him to immediately cease operations at his barbershop. The State is seeking to schedule a hearing as soon as possible.
The AG asserted Manke’s open business presents “clear public health dangers.”
After the close of business on Tuesday, Whitmer’s administration stripped Manke of his operating license, his attorney said.
“Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has suspended Karl’s license,” attorney David Kallman stated, “Not thinking about it, they’ve actually done it without a hearing, without any due process,” he added, saying the action took place some time after 5:00 p.m.
“It’s an unbelievable abuse of power,” he declared.
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