Michigan Gov. Whitmer dodges questions after state’s HHS director suddenly resigns

Even as President Joe Biden stresses that his administration is focused on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, one of Michigan’s top health officials recently announced an abrupt resignation without offering much explanation.

According to Breitbart, the state’s Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon confirmed his departure by way of a tweet earlier this month.

“It has been grueling”

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took several questions on the matter during a recent press conference but sought to skirt the issue with what appeared to be prepared, evasive responses.

Gordon referenced looking forward to the “next chapter” of his career without revealing the impetus for his decision amid a public health crisis in a state with some of the nation’s harshest restrictions.

Instead of addressing the substance of reporters’ queries, Whitmer repeated a seemingly scripted nonanswer welcoming incoming director Elizabeth Hertel.

“To lead this department in unimaginable circumstances, it has been grueling,” the governor replied.

When pressed for more details by another reporter, Whitmer replied that she did not have “anything to add with regard to [her] comments about, you know, the former director.”

“Happy to see him replaced”

Gordon’s tenure was not without controversy, though, as reported by the Detroit News. He recently issued a number of new restrictions in the wake of the Michigan Supreme Court ruling that Whitmer exceeded her authority to impose the orders in the first place.

Over the span of just the past four months, Gordon issued at least a dozen pandemic-related orders — many of which were blamed by critics for placing undue burdens on businesses and families across the state. He also led the state’s vaccination rollout, which suffered from setbacks and complications not experienced by a number of other states.

GOP state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey celebrated the health official’s resignation, calling Gordon the “epitome of an out-of-touch and unresponsive bureaucrat,” adding that he was “happy to see him replaced.”

Other state lawmakers clashed with Gordon, particularly on the subject of keeping small businesses shuttered even as other states loosened restrictions.

Another interesting note in his career is that he served as an adviser on Biden’s transition team in preparation for developing the Department of Health and Human Services. He previously held several positions in the Obama administration.

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