Santa Claus encouraged children to do “what the governor is telling all the people of the great state of Michigan to do” regarding the COVID-19 pandemic during a video conference call hosted by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer Wednesday.
In the video, Whitmer introduces Santa to a number of children on the virtual call as someone “who has really been following the rules.”
Whitmer immediately opened up the video to questions from the children, which prompted one young boy to ask if Santa had to wear a mask.
“When I’m in my workshop with all my elves, we are all masked up and social distancing,” Santa responded.
Another child asked if he should put out cookies and milk, plus carrots for the reindeer, adding that he would provide hand sanitizer for Santa, as well, which Whitmer noted was “a good suggestion.”
A group of masked children then asked Santa if the coronavirus was in the North Pole.
“Everyone has been testing negative. We’re still getting tested,” said Santa. “I think we’re so far north that it might not be getting to us, but we’re not gonna take any chances. We’re all going to mask up, we’re all going to wash our hands and we’re all going to stay six feet apart.”
Whitmer then jumped in, adding, “Another way to stay safe during the holiday is to stay home, but call your grandparents and your cousins and your family, and it’s the safest way to tell the people you love how much you care about them. This year it has to look a little bit different so we can stay safe.”
Earlier this month, the Democrat governor extended Michigan’s statewide lockdown order through December 20 just before the so-called “Pause to Save Lives” was supposed to expire on December 8, The Hill reported.
Whitmer said extending the lockdown would allow officials to determine the spread of the virus in the wake of Thanksgiving celebrations.
“Hope is on the horizon, but we need an additional 12 days to determine the full impact of the Thanksgiving holiday on our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus,” she said. “This is all about protecting our families and front-line workers until we eradicate this virus once and for all.”
The order closed bars and restaurants, limiting food services to take-out only and restricting in-person teaching at secondary and higher education facilities.
In Michigan, the total number of confirmed cases reached 446,752 Wednesday, with just over .025 percent of total confirmed cases resulting in confirmed deaths, totaling 11,018. The population of Michigan is over 9 million.