Democrat Govs. J.B. Pritzker and Gretchen Whitmer Tuesday pushed back at President Donald Trump over his support of protesters in their states demanding their right to return to work and to reopen businesses, claiming that he is spreading fear and putting the public at risk with his stance.
"I know what he's trying to do," Pritzker, the governor of Illinois, told Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, pushing back hard against Trump's tweets calling for the protesters gathering to protest for their rights in several states to "LIBERATE." "It’s a political maneuver in the middle of a national emergency, and he should stop it. What could it mean? It could mean terrible things. You could end up with violence."
Pritzker also claimed that people gathering in the large crowds will be "giving each other coronavirus, and people, unfortunately, will get sick and some people may die as a result of the president’s rhetoric that has brought them out to protest.”
Meanwhile, Whitmer, the governor of Michigan, said Trump's call to suspend immigration during the coronavirus crisis in order to protect Americans' jobs and health are part of his "inconsistent messages" designed to spread fear and are putting the public in "greater danger."
The focus, instead, should be on making swabs for coronavirus testing, said Whitmer.
“This is what we need right now, not additional new things to be upset about, fearful of or mad about," Whitmer said in an interview with The Associated Press.
“I think that the nightly briefing has yielded a lot of inconsistent messages to the public — messages that put people in greater danger,” she said.
Whitmer also denied that her comments against Trump's actions are part of an audition to become presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden's running mate.
Instead, she said she's focusing on managing the coronavirus crisis in her state. However, her stringent rules, including bans on certain purchases or allowing Michigan taxpayers to travel to property they own in the state has led to protests at the state capital, including from people who want to return to work as the state's unemployment rates soar. More than 1 million people in her state are unemployed through closures under rules set under the governor's office or from having lost their jobs since the outbreak began.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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