Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer slammed the stay-at-home order protesters who stormed the state’s Capitol on Thursday, saying they represented the “worst racism and awful parts” of US history.
“Some of the outrageousnesses of what happened at our Capitol depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country,” Whitmer said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The Democratic governor said the group of armed demonstrators — which she said included people wielding “Confederate flags and nooses” in addition to other racist signs — were “not representative of who we are today.”
“That’s a small group of people when you think of about the fact that this is a state of 10 million people, the vast majority of [whom] are doing the right thing,” she said.
President Trump called on Whitmer in a tweet last week to negotiate with protesters.
“The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal,” he wrote.
But Whitmer doubled down Sunday on her defense of the statewide stay-at-home order, saying she was “working to protect your life.”
She has extended the mandate last week to May 15, but eased some restrictions, including on motor boating, golfing and curbside pick-ups at businesses.
“The fact of the matter is we are in the global pandemic. This is not something we negotiate ourselves out of and is a political matter, this is a public health crisis that has taken the lives of almost 70,000 Americans,” she said.
Michigan reported a total of 43,254 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,025 deaths statewide as of Sunday afternoon, according to the latest figures from John Hopkins University.
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