Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (D) on Sunday said mitigation efforts such as mask mandates have been effective in reducing coronavirus rates in the city, calling such efforts an alternative to mass shutdowns.
“Detroit actually has the lowest infection rate in the state of Michigan,” Duggan said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “And it’s because behavior changed. In March and April, Michigan was hammered along with New York, and we had within a few weeks, a thousand people hospitalized and 50 of our neighbors dying every day.”
In contrast, he said, the city currently had about 200 patients hospitalized and one or two deaths per day.
“It’s still too high, but the commitment to the testing, the commitment to the masks, has shown that you can dramatically drop the infection rate,” Duggan added.
The mayor noted that the city’s infection rate is about half of those of its surrounding suburbs.
“If you make a commitment to the masks, we don’t have to shut the economy down,” he said.
Asked how the city’s mask mandate and other measures had affected the spread of the virus, Duggan responded that “assembly lines are in our DNA” and pointed to the city’s drive-through testing apparatus.
Duggan went on to say that frontline workers such as firefighters, hospital workers and emergency medical technicians would likely be the first people in the city to receive a coronavirus vaccine, followed by the elderly.
“Occupation is going to go first…then people over the age over 65,” he said. “That’s the way they’re talking about it, I will be really glad when [President-elect] Joe Biden takes control of this and we get clear direction, but we will follow whatever protocols are there.”