Trump urges Michigan’s Whitmer to ‘make a deal’ with those protesting stay-at-home order
President Trump on Friday urged Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to negotiate and “make a deal” with those protesting her stay-at-home order in the state.
“The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire,” Trump tweeted Friday morning. “These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.”
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2020
Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order in her state on Thursday, after hundreds of protesters, some of them armed, demonstrated outside the state Capitol. The Republican-led legislature, meanwhile, debated inside and ultimately declined to extend the state’s emergency declaration and voted to bring forth a lawsuit challenging Whitmer’s power.
Whitmer’s new executive actions, issued later Thursday, extend business closures and declare a state of emergency until May 28.
“COVID-19 is an enemy that has taken the lives of more Michiganders than we lost during the Vietnam War,” Whitmer said in a statement. “While some members of the legislature might believe this crisis is over, common sense and all of the scientific data tells us we’re not out of the woods yet.”
“By refusing to extend the emergency and disaster declaration, Republican lawmakers are putting their heads in the sand and putting more lives and livelihoods at risk. I’m not going to let that happen,” she continued.
Trump earlier this month signaled support for protests against stay-at-home orders in Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia — all of which are led by Democratic governors — and repeatedly defended demonstrators despite criticism.
Images of demonstrations have shown protesters bucking the White House’s recommendations for social distancing during the pandemic.
Trump said earlier this month that he believed some restrictions were too stringent and suggested protests in Virginia were also justified because of new gun control laws passed in the state.
“I think we do have sobering guidance, but I think some things are too tough. It’s too tough,” Trump told reporters on April 17. “Not only relative to this, but what they’ve done in Virginia with respect to the Second Amendment is a horrible thing.”
Trump’s latest remarks about Michigan come as other states begin to loosen coronavirus restrictions to allow businesses to restart operations.
The White House has issued guidance for states as they formulate their plans but left the decisions up to governors, though the president has still weighed in on decisions by various states.
Trump, eager to revive the U.S. economy, has praised states like Texas that have begun to relax restrictions, while chastising Georgia for its reopening plan after it was widely criticized as too aggressive.