White House press secretary Jen Psaki appeared to read prepared notes praising embattled Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Tuesday.
Whitmer, who has struggled to come up with reasons for surging coronavirus cases in the state, despite ongoing lockdowns and mask requirements, also dealt with the news that one of her chief aides ignored her urging that residents not to travel to Florida for spring break last week.
Psaki took time during her daily briefing to defend Whitmer, whom the White House denied a “vaccine surge.”
“She’s done a tremendous job in our view,” Psaki told reporters, “while facing an enormous set of challenges.”
Psaki claimed Whitmer has been “steadfast in her commitment to keeping the people of Michigan safe,” while the state is currently experiencing the highest surge of cases of any in the country.
“If you go back more than a year ago, she led that fight to make sure first responders in the state had PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] they needed when cases took off,” Psaki read, adding Whitmer also wanted more coronavirus testing “when the federal government told governors that they were frankly on their own.”
That was a debunked claim Democrats pushed after former President Donald Trump urged governors to not just rely on the federal government for equipment and supplies, but also to pursue them on their own.
“She had to endure not just a public health crisis and a hostile state legislature, but friends who have passed from the virus, armed aggression in the state capitol, and threats against her life,” Psaki said.
“We feel she’s shown some serious grit, fight, and resolve. We’re going to continue to work with her,” Psaki added.
On April 2, Whitmer effectively blamed the rise in cases on her lockdowns, claiming, “…we were very successful early on, but right now that means in the wake of variants that are easier to catch, we have fewer people with antibodies. And that’s why rushing to vaccinate is so crucial,” the Detroit Free Press reported.
Sunday, Whitmer attempted to downplay the Biden administration’s refusal to send additional vaccine doses, but instead vaccinators and equipment.
“Well, I think they’ve got a plan and they’re committed to sticking to it, and I understand that. And we are definitely grateful for the boots on the ground that they’re sending the mobile units,” she told CBS.
“And we’re going to continue to work well with this White House and — and we’re grateful for that,” she added.
Last week, Breitbart News caught one of Whitmer’s top aides, Tricia Foster, vacationing in Florida, despite the governor urging Michiganders not to travel to the popular spring break location.
In a series of Facebook posts, Foster admitted she was in Siesta Key with several young people and had left her coronavirus-infected son behind. Those teens were not yet eligible for the vaccine.
Whitmer’s press secretary, Bobby Leddy, lashed out at Breitbart News, falsely calling it “a garbage white nationalist website.”