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Whitmer defends stay-at-home order: 'We are seeing the curve start to flatten'

Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen Whitmer Watch live: Whitmer provides update on COVID-19 in Michigan Multiple GOP Michiganders test positive for COVID-19 after district meeting White House on Whitmer's handling of pandemic: She's shown 'serious' grit MORE (D) defended criticism of her state’s aggressive stay-at-home order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and said the measures are starting to flatten the curve. 

“Michigan right now has the third-highest death count in the country. We are the 10th-largest state. As you can deduce, this means we have a uniquely hard issue going on here,” Whitmer said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”  “It is disproportionately hurting our state, and that is why we need to take a uniquely aggressive action to protect people.”

Whitmer said that "my stay-home order is one of the nation's more conservative" but added that the aggressive measures are working. 

“We are seeing the curve start to flatten. And that means we're saving lives,” she said. 

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperArkansas governor says 'divisive' Trump attacks on GOP officials are 'unhelpful' Arkansas governor: Veto on trans youth bill was a 'message of compassion and conservatism' Buttigieg: Lawmakers can call infrastructure package 'whatever they like' but 'it's good policy' MORE asked Whitmer about criticism over some of the details of her order, including banning the use of some personal watercraft while allowing the use of kayaks. 

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“Do you regret anything about the way these rules have been rolled out?” Tapper asked Whitmer. 

“This is an unprecedented crisis that we are confronting as a globe, frankly, and the harsh way that it’s hitting my state means that we've got to be really smart about the actions we take now to protect life as well as the actions we take to reengage [the economy],” she responded. 

Whitmer said the actions need to avoid the risk of a second wave. 

“I know that the vast majority of Michiganders understand that not going to the gas station to fill up your boat ... is a sacrifice, but it’s one that is worth it,” she said, adding that it could “save your grandparent or your neighbor’s life, and that’s precisely what the trade-off is in this moment.” 

Michigan was among several states where protesters demonstrated against the stay-at-home orders in place. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he MORE encouraged the demonstrators, despite the protests directly challenging the White House’s own guidelines on reopening the economy, tweeting, “LIBERATE Michigan” on Friday.