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Trump adviser: Michigan should 'rise up' against coronavirus restrictions

Scott AtlasScott AtlasOvernight Health Care: Trump admin makes changes to speed vaccinations | CDC to order negative tests for international travelers | More lawmakers test positive after Capitol siege Joe Biden needs a new communications strategy The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Congress slogs toward COVID-19 relief, omnibus deal MORE, a medical adviser to President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE, called on Michiganders to “rise up” after Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerBiden taps Atlanta mayor for senior DNC role Legislatures boost security after insurrection, FBI warnings Minnesota governor to deploy National Guard to protect state capitol ahead of inauguration MORE (D) announced new restrictions amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

"The only way this stops is if people rise up," Atlas tweeted Sunday after Whitmer’s office announced a three-week return to remote learning for high schools and college students, as well as a reimposed ban on dine-in service at restaurants.

"You get what you accept. #FreedomMatters #StepUp," Atlas added.

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Whitmer, reportedly the target of a kidnapping plot by a far-right militia group earlier this year, reacted to the tweets Sunday evening, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “We know that the White House likes to single us out here in Michigan, me out in particular. I'm not going to be bullied into not following reputable scientists and medical professionals."

Atlas added in a tweet late Sunday said he would never "endorse or incite violence."

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Atlas’s initial tweet echoes one by Trump himself earlier this year calling on armed anti-lockdown protesters to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN,” a post that was frequently cited in the wake of the news of the alleged Whitmer kidnapping plot.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) tweeted that Atlas’s comment was “disappointing, irresponsible, and the reason why the United States finds itself in such desperate circumstances regarding COVID-19.”

“A patriot is one who protects America from its enemies, both foreign and domestic. COVID-19 is the enemy, not each other,” she added. “Stop pitting Americans against each other and start supporting policies proven to effectively fight the virus.”

--Updated at 12:43 p.m.