A digital billboard looming large on Interstate 69 just a few miles south of the Michigan border, in Angola, Ind., has quite a few Governor Whitmer defenders in a fury.  The billboard states that the Governor of Michigan was named "Indiana Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year”.

All of Whitmer’s defenders including the Detroit "Free" Press jumped to her rescue and had to get to the bottom of this very important story.  It is not like there are any other more important issues they should be investigating, getting down to the bottom of and reporting like 4,321 out of 15,177 deaths (as of February 16th) Whitmer has counted as Covid-19 deaths that were added due to:

“Regular reviews of death certificate data maintained in Vital Records reporting systems are conducted by MDHHS staff three times per week. As a part of this process, records that identify COVID-19 infection as a contributing factor to death are compared against all laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Michigan Disease Surveillance System (MDSS). If a death certificate is matched to a confirmed COVID-19 case and that record in the MDSS does not indicate the individual died, the MDSS record is updated to indicate the death and the appropriate local health department is notified. These matched deaths are then included with mortality information posted to the Michigan Coronavirus website”

Is the Governor really telling people that whoever enters details to the Michigan Disease Surveillance System (MDSS) just happened to not enter 28% of the total amount of people she claimed died by Covid-19?  If that is true there is a serious problem, one could say a systemic problem with the personnel entering this data.

Obviously, the owner of the Billboard was having a little fun at the expense of Whitmer who has ruled over Michigan for the last 11 months via her executive powers.

The Detroit “Free” Press attempted to get to the bottom of this tragic story and heard back from Rebecca Patrick, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s vice president of public relations and communications and in an email to the “Free” Press gave them a statement from Indiana Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Brinegar which read in part:

“The Indiana Chamber of Commerce had nothing to do with this. Someone used our name to help garner attention. We are not in the business of attacking other states or individuals. We found this completely inappropriate and demanded it be taken down immediately.”

Really did the Detroit “Free” Press actually believe that they would name someone who does not live in the state or have any business in the state, business person of the year?  If so they really have some incredibly challenged people working there.

The Billboard is owned by Swick Broadcasting Company and their CEO Steve Swick told the Detroit “Free” Press that he lived most of his life in Michigan but currently resides in Indiana but still owns radio stations in Michigan.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce contacted Mr. Swick and he removed their name, immediately. He told the “Free” Press that it was not meant to deceive anyone.  Mr. Swick replaced the wording of the previous billboard with the following:

Whitmer Billboard in Indiana courtesy of Steve Swick CEO of Swick Broadcasting Company
Whitmer Billboard in Indiana courtesy of Steve Swick CEO of Swick Broadcasting Company

He said he put that billboard up “because he believes Whitmer’s response to the coronavirus was destructive to Michigan businesses”.

It has Steve, it really has.  That is the story these “news” outlets should be using their time investigating and reporting on.  Not a billboard that makes people smile, God knows we do not want to bring any happiness to people’s lives in these times.

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595


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