Politics

Whitmer Claims Reopen Protesters Could ‘Force’ Michigan ‘To Stay’ Shut Down Longer

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Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday that protests against her state’s strict coronavirus restrictions will likely lead to an extended lockdown.

“The worst irony that could come about from these demonstrations is that they force us to stay in this posture longer than — longer than we’re already planning to,” Whitmer said during an appearance on MSNBC.  “It’s the last thing any of us wants.”

Whitmer added that she was “eager” to reopen her state’s economy, but would defer to science in her decision making. Michigan is currently one of 43 states under a stay at home order, with some beginning the process of reopening as early as this week. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Jan. 21: Fauci Says Coronavirus ‘Not A Major Threat’ To U.S.)

“I can tell you with all confidence that every governor in this country is eager to figure out when we can reopen or re-engage our economies,” she said. “And yet some of us are going to stay focused on the science so we make sure we do it in the safest manner.”

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Whitmer has come under fire for actions taken by her administration in response to the pandemic. Whitmer has issued an executive order barring people in her state from traveling to see friends or family unless they are providing medical assistance. Over 300,000 people have signed a petition demanding the governor be recalled.

Whitmer has also been mentioned as a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.