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Trump lashes out at Gov. Whitmer after critical coronavirus comments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on MSNBC

LANSING — President Donald Trump lashed out at Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday, accusing her of "failing" to respond to the novel coronavirus despite her attempts to slow the spread by shutting down large sectors of the state economy. 

The Republican president sounded off on Twitter minutes after the Democratic governor appeared on MSNBC, where she discussed her executive orders to close schools, restaurants, bars, casinos and other businesses in response to the potentially deadly virus.

When asked, Whitmer also chided Trump for his suggestion that when it comes to ventilators, respirators and other medical equipment, governors should "try getting it yourselves."

"To hear the leader of the federal government tell us to work around the federal government because it's too slow, it's kind of mind-boggling to be honest," the governor said. 

Michigan is reaching out to private partners to try to obtain more supplies but also needs the federal government to step up, Whitmer added. 

"We need respirators and ventilators and personal protection equipment. We need more test kits and resources to process those test kits."

Trump shot back minutes later in a short tweet

"Failing  Michigan Governor must work harder and be much more proactive,” he wrote. “We are pushing her to get the job done. I stand with Michigan!"

The suggestion Whitmer has not been proactive appeared to confuse Michigan social media users, some of whom noted there has been local pushback that the governor has been too proactive.

Whitmer declared a state of emergency on March 10 and has issued seven other executive orders in the past week, including a prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people and an expansion of unemployment insurance benefits.


"Shame on you, @realDonaldTrump," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel responded on Twitter.  "@GovWhitmer is working tirelessly to lead our state through these diff times. You could learn a lot about what a REAL chief exec looks like from her. You just can’t stop being a jerk-can you? People are dying. Grow up and try leading by example."

Whitmer was quick to fire back at the president, with a string of her own tweets.


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