I’m taking issue with the letter Jim Lilly, state representative of the 89th District, wrote and published in The Sentinel on Friday, April 17, in which he states that Gov. Whitmer owes us an explanation.


Whitmer and the 49 other governors in the U.S. are faced with an enormous challenge to issue statewide orders that will help keep us safe in the face of an incredibly efficient worldwide virus that has the potential of killing us. It doesn’t appear the infection rate has reached its peak in West Michigan, with Kent County and possibly Ottawa County still estimated to be weeks away.


Like you, I don’t agree with every one of her mandates. But I don’t need to; I want to support her mandate and encourage my community to support her as well. She is following and interpreting the White House COVID-19 task force recommendations and I am thankful for that.


Mr. Lilly, I respect you and your office in the state Legislature, but I wonder if you have decided to politicize this moment rather than lending your support and leadership for all of us to keep safe. It is easy to cherry pick some of our governor’s strictures, but she does not owe me an explanation, as you suggest. I watch every one of her press briefings and know she is trying her best to keep us safe while trying to get us back to work and to normal life. Every governor is trying to do the same thing.


It seems to me, if you want to criticize anyone, you would criticize our president for issuing a national plan for us all on one day, and then encouraging Michiganders to violate that plan the very next day.


Instead of nitpicking our state’s plan, why don’t you lend your support in getting us supplies we all need in Michigan for adequate testing, as well as our first responders and medical personnel. Failing at that, please try to get our families in West Michigan household supplies to keep us safe, such as enough masks, disinfecting wipes and household cleaners, because stores keep running out.


You’re in a leadership position — please use your office to help our families and quit politicking the moment.


Fred Van Antwerp


Holland