“should never have used the word ‘dictatorship,’ ” Kelly Stafford wrote Thursday in an Instagram post. “i got caught up in the heat of the moment, that is my fault. i don’t know the answer and i won’t pretend to. i care about the people who are losing their lives or battling this.. and also the medical staff who care for them. and it is hard knowing these local business owners and watching them struggle and having to lay off their employees, not knowing how they are gonna make it. so i’m sorry. i let my emotions get the best of me. i love michigan and the people here.. don’t get that twisted in this This place was my rock during my tough times. and i wish there was an answer that pleased everyone but we know that is definitely not the case.”

Stafford’s post came just hours after her initial rant, in which she blasted the state’s crackdown amid a surge in cases.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced this week that the state would begin a “three-week pause targeting indoor social gatherings and other group activities” in order to help curb the spread of the virus. The order was issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and went into effect on Wednesday.

“I’m over living in a dictatorship that we call Michigan,” Stafford said earlier on Thursday.

“I understand there’s a pandemic, and I understand it’s very scary. I’m scared of it, too. If you are at risk, do not leave your house until there’s a vaccine. But shutting down all these small businesses — things that people have worked their life for — shutting them down again is not the answer, because they will not make it. So once we are able to leave our house, once this dictatorship decides to let us have some freedom, there will be nothing left.”

Up to 48,000 more Americans could die from Covid-19 by December 12, according to CDC forecast

Stafford also offered an apology in her Instagram story following the backlash.

“Alright, y’all, here’s what I do best: Coming back to apologize, after I read some of your things and I get grounded a little bit,” Stafford said.

“I’m really sorry. I was in the heat of the moment. I have a friend losing her business. It’s just getting to me a little bit, so I apologize for calling it a dictatorship — probably a not so smart use of words. But yeah, I just want it to work for everybody, and I know it’s not going to work for everybody, and it just kills me to see people suffer a financial burden from losing their business, and also from getting sick. But I don’t know — I apologize.”

CNN reached out to Stafford but has not heard back.

She previously blamed the NFL for harassment she claims her family received after her husband was placed on the NFL’s Injured Reserve/Covid list. She claims that her children were kicked off of a playground and that she was approached at a grocery store and told that she was “endangering others.”

The NFL has stated that being on the list does not mean that a player has Covid-19, and being on the list could mean they either tested positive or had close contact with someone who has been in contact with an infected person.

Michigan continues to see an exponential rise in cases across the state, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said.

Michigan reported 7,592 new cases on Thursday and 134 new deaths, bringing the totals to 285,398 and 8,324, respectively, according to data from the state’s public health agency.

Hospitals are 79% full across Michigan, and the state currently has the fourth highest number of Covid-19 patients hospitalized in the country, Khaldun said.

CNN’s Kay Jones contributed to this report.



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