MI Gov. Whitmer: ‘Ironic’ Trump Attacking Me When He Has ‘Vacuum of Leadership’ on Coronavirus

Tuesday on MSNBC, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) criticized President Donald Trump for tweeting that she was a “failing Michigan governor.”

In that tweet, Trump said Whitmer “must work harder and be much more proactive.”

Whitmer said, “We’ve been working overtime to try to be as aggressive as we can to flatten the curve on the coronavirus spread. We knew it was going to come to Michigan at some point, and that’s why I ginned up the state emergency operations center back at the end of February. While it hadn’t been here yet, we knew it was coming. We started task forces and declared a state of emergency immediately. I know how important it is that we are aggressive, where there’s been a vacuum of leadership. I think it’s important all of these governors and mayors across the country are taking the bold action we need to protect the public.”

She continued, “We don’t have enough tests, and we don’t have enough resources to make sure that we’re able to process the tests as quickly as we need to. And because of that, we are not confident that we have a real handle on how many people are actually carrying the coronavirus in Michigan and where they are and how we can track down the genesis. And that is dangerous. And that’s why these aggressive actions that we’ve taken like states like Ohio, my friend Mike DeWine, Republican, we’ve been on the phone talking to one another to make sure we are using best practices, making decisions based on the best findings and facts, and always centered around what is in the best interest of the public health. And I’m grateful I’ve got fellow governors who wished to talk and strategize because it is so important that we are aggressive on this front end. But we need help out of the federal government.”

Rachel Maddow asked, “The president took some shots at you and has been attacking you personally even as each of you is trying to weather the state and the federal divide in terms of coming up with a response to this. Do you feel like you are able to have a constructive working relationship with the federal government? Does the president attacking you affect how well Michigan is able to respond to what’s happening in your state?”

Whitmer responded, “You know what, I can’t get distracted by that. It’s ironic that my point I was making as I was being attacked was that they’re not serious. They’re watching TV and attacking via Twitter. That’s not going to help anything. The only thing that helps us manage a crisis is having clear and swift information, having personal protection equipment, ensuring we’ve got the tests that we need, and the resource that is necessary. Ten million people in the state of Michigan who are counting on me to be able to deliver, and I need a federal government that’s got our back and helping us through that.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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